Discover more from Words, As Fruit.
Shake It Loose.
There’s a particular memory of my mother that has been resurfacing lately, and as today is the celebration of Mother’s Day in the U.S., I wanted to share the recollection of this memory, as well as an email I received from my mother years ago which I will forever hold dear.
When I was in elementary school, I had a friend, we’ll call her Penelope and one day, while visiting at her house for a play date, Penelope and I decided we should have a sleepover. So Penelope goes to her mother, who is in the kitchen talking with mine, and asks if I can spend the night. Her mother turns to my mother and asks if I can spend the night. My mother turns to me, I’m now standing at her side, and she asks if I want to spend the night. Penelope’s mother immediately says, “Aren’t you the mother?”. My mother looks at her, and replies, “She’s the one spending the night, not me.” The perplexed look on Penelope’s mother’s face is one I still vividly remember. For Penelope’s mother, I imagine the question was simply one of permission. But for my mother, it was one of choice, my choice, and consent.
Throughout my childhood, my mother acknowledged and honored my presence and voice, before I even understood that I had a presence and voice worthy of it.
A few years ago following a conversation with my mother within which I shared with her some questions, concerns, and insecurities about my then relationship, a relationship that did not afford me the best emotional care, I felt that some of her responses were harsh and judgmental, and I told her as much. Shortly after, having taken some time to reflect, my mother sent me this email entitled ‘Shake It Loose’. I share it here as an offering of perspective, through my mother’s eyes, and also insight into the delicate nature of parenthood, and what I see as the difficult balance between protection, preparation, and care.
NOTE: My mother gets DEEP. So, as you read, I invite you to do so slowly, and milk from her words whatever wisdom, questions and gems might call out to you.
May 23, 2019
Subject: Intention - Shake It Loose
Effect: Feeling perception of judgment
My view of my role as your mother is to challenge you to 'shake it loose’ so that you are 'free' to traverse the universe, always stepping into the next version of your evolving vision. No boxes. No ceilings. No barriers. No gilded cages.
To protect you as an adult GAW (Grown Ass Woman) would be to smother your innate gifts and talents and vision for which you are seeded to become. A fully transformed butterfly. Not to hide in the shadows of insecurity and intelligentsia. A partially transformed caterpillar with wings, too 'heavy' to take flight.
To protect you would be counterintuitive, codependent, and destructive rendering you a dependent and weak cripple under the guise of love, safety, and to serve as another's image prop.
To protect you would be to stunt your growth, your unique evolutionary design.
To protect you would be to deny you the challenges, and the opportunities that continue to refine you, and define you progressively into the vision for which you are ever evolving, greater-yet-to-be.
To protect you is a question of trust - or lack of - confidence to release you into your collective ability-capacity-competency to navigate life's terrain. Would be to rest on my laurels of pride, arrogance, insecurity, uncertainty, fear, control, and know-it-all. Trusting more in the blinding boulder in my eyes than the splinter stigma in your eyes.
To protect you is to be intimidated by your potential.
To protect you is to undermine, to sabotage your efforts to soar each time you attempt to take flight.
To protect is to sow mine fields of incapacity and neglect. In some circles known as progressive abuse. The law of the farm.
Vulnerability within our gifts/talents, assets/liabilities is a humbling experience, a growth challenge in our endless evolutionary saga of maturity and wisdom, stupidity and ignorance. Humility, the great equalizer.
Understanding my lack of understanding. The adventure into wholeheartedness is a bold and courageous paradox.
I challenge you to be sure footed, agile, resilient, keep getting up, building muscle. And in all affairs, give thanks.
I hear that angels fly because they take themselves lightly.
Eniafe, when you were a child, my role, my privilege - very brief, temporary, and to the best of my collective ability capability competency - was to tender your soil so that you would be rooted enough to use your wings to fly - as the ancestors would say. This meant steering and clearing your path through the muck and mire, quicksand, and assorted characters to the extent possible. I refused to groom you in fear. Parenting under any circumstances is more than a notion.
I would hope, and am confident that your companions on the road of collective well-being inspire your vision, wisdom, vulnerability, and wholeheartedness, hold your hand, and carry you as needed.
This may be a matter of discernment ... why you decide and choose to invite who and what onto your path.
Mucho love, Mom
PS: My opinion. My perspective. My perception.