My precious daughter tells me she feels slighted by some children at school. It’s about an item of clothing, a jacket she’d been so thrilled to find, when we got it, because it had all the important elements: it was fuzzy and warm on the inside (not just for show), it had an abundance of sparkles, and, best of all, it had a gorgeous, large-eyed cat on the front. It was perfect for her, as if it had been made to order. And now, she says she doesn’t want to wear it to school again.
My precious daughter feels slighted… and I feel my heart breaking. The day has come. I can’t protect her from the random cruelties of the world that seeks to bend her by guile or by force, to shape her to its will. She has entered an arena that requires steadfastness and fortitude even when she is tired and feels weak. And I am suddenly exhausted, and weepy.
That may be all true, I can’t be sure. But I do know this: it is my experience framing this landscape, my view describing what is in it. It is my version of this story, of her story.
And in my attachment to that view, to my version, I am blind to so many other details. I am blind to my daughter’s innate power, to that force I have sometimes, in frustration, called obstinacy. I blind myself to her wisdom, her ability to pull far back when she is overwhelmed and then creep slowly up to the edge when she has gathered her resources. My attachment could cause me to forget that she has many places, many people, to offer her safety, to reflect her wholeness back to her, without judgments. I would forget that she is not a figure in the landscape, static, finished.
If I let go of my attachment, of my story, I am aware that this is a small opportunity to grow large, for her, my precious daughter, and also for me.