I once believed if I could look ahead and do everything right, my kids would have the happy, emotionally perfect childhood I never had. As my oldest turned five and my youngest danced around the two-and-a-half year mark, I found myself: separated from my husband, starting my own business, rocking some strange hair, with some strange world views, and overall quite unusual.
I may have failed at being that perfect parent…... And yet, I see the beauty, the growth and the possibilities in this imperfection.
What I discovered is that I don’t have to have all the answers, that’s what I gave up when I gave up perfection - instead now I have a whole bunch of curious questions.
A Moment of Perfect Imperfection:
In the basement, Zak and Xander were exploring as I unpacked our new life out of squashed and miscellaneous boxes. I noticed Xander watching me for a little while and then he asked me the question most parents would dread. “Mommy, why don't you and Daddy live together anymore?” His face held a shadow of curiosity but mostly a sense of heaviness and confusion.
I stopped unpacking and looked him in the eyes, searching for the greatest possibility. I asked a question, “Xander, what do you know about Mommy and Daddy living together?”
“Not happy,” he responded right away.
Then I asked, “What do you know about Mommy and Daddy living apart?”
I gave space to the question and allowed his eyes and energy to wander. Then he came back to me. His eyes lit with awareness and the heaviness lifted from his face. “Happy!” he said, smiling at me.
I smiled back as we exchanged energetic whispers of the acknowledgment of even more joy to come. I scooped up that brilliant boy and hugged him dearly. I knew this happiness to be true for me. I knew as well that this chapter of our lives would be filled with adventure, joy, gratitude and creation.
What if honouring a child's awareness could be that easy and that simple? And what if it didn’t have to be perfect? The more I acknowledge these boys' incredible knowing, the more it grows and they continue to astound me with what they know about the world around them.
Acknowledging and exploring awareness is not about becoming a backseat driver and having your kids run you. It is more about being a true leader and supporting and contributing to those who are with you. What if we allowed our children to be leaders along with us? And what if we allowed them to contribute to us?
Perfection is the idea that there can only be one leader and you as the parent are supposed to be it. However, this idea creates a sense of competition and separation. That is not communion. These people-with-small-bodies have enormous capacities to lead and change the world. For me, that is something to be nurtured, honoured and acknowledged.
How this shows up for you and your family will be beautifully unique. And possibly will never be perfect.
The greatest way I have found to create this is by asking questions. I ask my kids real, true questions, with curiosity and presence. I go into question for myself and wonder each day what will it take to out-create yesterday?
The dance of parenting these incredible, intelligent, and aware boys is something I am constantly playing with and looking to see where I can be greater.
So you see I know where I have failed perfection. I know that a perfect Mom would have made it work with her husband, a perfect Mom would not have been unpacking boxes in a basement with 2 very young children. A perfect Mom would always know the right thing to say or do…
I confess…. I know I have failed at being the perfect Mom, and...I am actually really happy that I did.
I have given up perfectionism and instead picked up choice, possibility & awareness!
It holds way more joy and growth for me,
as every time I label something as perfect it has to be judged and judged again
then stay exactly as it is, for it can never be greater if it's already been labeled as perfect.
And I am not willing to live in the jail of perfection anymore.
Somedays I find an old box of perfect ideas and concepts that I have to send to the trash bin. I guess in some ways I am still clearing out the basement. But as I move forward, the space seems more and more free of these dusty old ideals and the possibilities with these kids are always growing in abundance.
And I wonder, when we no longer drive ourselves to be that perfect parent can we then more clearly see the beauty that lives in our parenting imperfections?
~ Cassy Summers
As IF By Magic Mage
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