The Gap

the gap
photo credit: https://austinkleon.com/steal/

I have my own perfect routines and habits, the great friendships, the right books, the needed amount of food and sleep everyday and life feels good. Then the weekend is here and I feel like a fraud. All I’ve been preaching is exactly that, preaching, while reality begs to differ.

The biggest painful gap I feel is in parenting.

Sometimes I wish my kids would slow down growing up until I close this gap between where I am and where I want to be, but they are not paying attention to my wishes. They are right on track with their own business of growing up and becoming who they need to be regardless of my progress. How dare they? I’m still not ready.

I can’t control my temper all the time, I still lose my patience whenever they say that horrible two-letter word to me. I take their answer personally while I grieve the not so old days when parenting was a one-way street of care-giving and beautiful, almost predictable, routines.

I fear that now they will know me for who I really am. A mess. A work in progress. I fear they would believe the lie that my happiness rests on them well-behaving and restraining from following their spontaneous exploring nature.

It is a lie indeed. My happiness is up to me. They are perfect and it’s time I allow them to really be who they came here to be; my masters. Yes, my masters are here to point out to me where I am still an impatient control freak better than anyone could. No one gets to see me up close like them anyway. Their job is to teach me how I am still triggered by the most trivial things like their clothes getting dirty from the whiteboard marker they enjoy using. Then I notice my ill reaction and make amends with them. They get to see how humans make up for their mistakes by apologizing, asking for forgiveness and starting over. And what do you know? I am actually parenting them in the midst of my non-readiness.

Maybe I will never be ready, maybe this mess is what they exactly need too as life is messy. Maybe seeing me start over and improving with time will help them believe they can conquer any character defect they might have if they are present enough and reflect on their own actions to do better next time. It’s in fact possible that feeling how my love for them extends any mistake, big or small, will have them believe in their own worth and lovability just because they are here on earth, beyond any right or wrong actions. It’s the most basic need we have had since we took our first breath. It is my lifetime mission as their parent, so help me God.

The Gap

Grief

When you lose someone close to you, it’s hard to see life the same way again. The event cuts your life into two parts; the life you had before the loss, and the life you have now. The life when hearing a certain song meant something to you and the life where that same song has a completely different sound to it. You listened to the song many times when you were fine and all loved ones were well. Now you hear it when you are torn inside because its lyrics wrapped themselves in new meanings.

The thing about loss is that we wish it’s a nightmare we’ll wake up from. It happens to me the most when I’m driving or doing some chore at the house; suddenly the memory startles me: this actually happened! We lost my aunt!
It’s so difficult to grasp the notion I won’t see her or listen to her stories again.
I know I’m not expected to and it will take time for this pain to stop stinging while I’m not looking. Because this is what grieving it about. It’s about looking alright when you’re not, it’s picking up the pieces of your heart over and over after you thought you mended it with that good cry you had.

Oh how I wish my kids knew you. That’s the most recurring thought I have. I wish I wasn’t so resistant to the fact that we’re in temporary forms, our bodies, and that we’re are more than this suit of clothes that our souls inhabit as my dear Marianne Williamson keeps saying. I believe that death is not the end of her or us. I believe we’re souls on a journey and sometimes the journey is cut short because it’s time to move on.
I want to choose faith, and I say choose as I’m afraid it doesn’t come naturally to me in this case, because faith is the only way to heal and be there for the loved ones we’re lucky to still have around. Life is too short to do otherwise.

Grief