It’s easy at my age (36.9) to be pretty attached to having life on my terms and at my pace. I’ve gotten too much in the habit of grabbing control when I’m scared instead of letting go and slowing my pace until I meet life on “the level.” Having a little one to guide me with their gentle, wandering rhythm is the best thing that’s happened to my world. My daughter has been, consciously or not, leading the way from the beginning of our relationship. Without her direction, I would be lost in darkness, with no clue how to guide her through this life. It is the ultimate dance of intimacy, as far as I can see. Divinity works more clearly through my child than through anybody. I only have to look into her eyes and see the way she sees, then touch the way she does, and turn my head just as hers does, to find the world is still new.
Kiya’s soul has been communicating with me since about 9 weeks into my pregnancy. Her first definitive message came one afternoon just before I met with my massage client. I had just prepared my table with fresh sheets and was feeling nauseous as usual. Trying to have faith in the process, I’d been consciously avoiding asking Spirit any questions about the baby growing inside my body. But, curiosity and anxiety won out and, looking in mirror on my studio wall, I asked for a sign that things were going alright with the little one.
Suddenly, an overwhelming wave plowed me under and I found myself running for the door, hoping to get outside before the inevitable projectile vomiting covered the clean sheets with chewed up eggs and toast. A few minutes later, stumbling back into the studio, I heard a clear, genderless voice say to me, “Mother, please don’t ask me to assert my presence too often. It causes you pain.” Like a child to a parent, I responded with swollen face and watering eyes, “Okay. I’m sorry, I just got too curious.”
After that, I did my best to hold off, leaving most of the questions for my dream life, where I often saw a child who looked exactly like my daughter (only older) smiling at me, assuring me everything was, and would be, fine.
Tonight, I found myself reflecting on the families in my circle and how, by varying degrees, the fathers have become intimate caretakers for these little children while we women struggle to be present without losing ourselves completely to the roles we fear or suspect our predecessers have done for many generations. We want to connect deeply with our children, but fulfill our “missions” too, at the same time. It can be a tricky mess. I so badly want to do right by my daughter and also, by myself, if for no other reason than to lead by example.
But, leadership involves sacrifice. It’s not a message we like to hear. And, when we give earnestly of ourselves, taking on the duty that is ours and our birthright, we become Grown Women. We become stronger, healthier versions of ourselves. We become brighter lights for our daughters.
As she & I lay together tonight, I received another reminder from the beautiful soul that has come to live here as Kiya. She drifted off to sleep after a long day of picnics and errands under the glow of her little fairy night light, and I heard these words: “You are my Mother. You are to be there when I need you. For now, I need you above all else and like no other, for you are my Mother.” And, with that simple guidance, I felt the truth in my bones of what it is for me to be a mother.
It is the honor and charge of the mother to be there. To be there, arms to hold, tears to wipe, breasts to share, eyes to reassure and smile in the times when there are no words to explain and nothing to completely relieve the pain of life.
Right now, that may seem like a lot. Too much at times. But, what greater honor could ever come than to be someone’s wholly devoted one? To be completely there when they need you? And just for now. For they will, before long, go out into the world and find many others to meet them in ways you cannot. And someday soon, perhaps, you will feel lucky if they need you at all. You will feel grateful for the ways they appreciate you. You will hope deeply that they will take the time to reach into your life with words and hugs and kisses and touches to your face. You will feel that the sun shines brighter because you mean something to this very special being that is your child.
And so, while Kiya sleeps, I thank her soul and say a prayer to help me remember what an honor it is to be the one “who’s supposed to be there”.