“Maybe because I never saw myself as “figured out” by the time I started to have children, I always assumed that they had as much to teach me as I had to teach them. When our first daughter (Hannah) was born I knew she was physically dependent upon my care, but I thought of her as evolutionarily more advanced and believed that if I nurtured her lovingly, she would bring something unique to the world that I could not offer. So, from day one, I looked upon Hannah as an equal, someone to be respected and certainly someone who knew herself better than I ever could.
As a result, I paid attention to what Hannah was “telling” me about herself, and as much as I could, I facilitated her own internal wisdom. In other words, I just got out of her way and let her live her life. Oh, I nursed her and changed her and sang to her and cuddled her, but I also saw myself in service to her in a bigger way, like I was her guide but it was her adventure. I was someone who had been given the privilege of helping her discover her unfolding life and charged with keeping her physically, emotionally, and spiritually safe as she grew, while recognizing that it was, in the end, her life to live .
Was I perfect at this? No. I often slipped into the mode of trying to control the situation, but the times when I did not resist Hannah’s natural way of being in the world, I found that life was easier. I had more energy for myself and for her, and it felt like I was developing integrity in my relationship to this wonderful little person.”
Excerpt: Chapter 4 (“Baby Knows Best”) of How to Treat Your Toddlers so Your Teenagers Will Talk to You
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