This year marks the final school year for my daughter. She has blossomed into a stunning young woman full of life and vitality. It is hard to believe that almost twelve years have passed since her first day at school when I cried as she squinted into the sunshine and the camera pointed at her.
She has been through a lot, though I know not as much as some kids. She moved across the world at the age of six, left friends, family, her school and started a new life in a new country. At the age of eleven she experienced the trauma of divorce and all of the complications that brings with it in terms of logistics, emotions, shame and anger but this beautiful daughter of mine, ever graceful, ever caring, ever present, ever selfless, infused her love into every situation and reminded me to constantly smell the roses.
Everything is beautiful when she is around. Life is sweet, like fig jam, and we have shared many, many blessings as we have steered through life together. She has so much wisdom and maturity and not one day goes past without me hugging her close and telling her how much I love her. We laugh until our sides feel fit to burst and we cry hugging each other like best friends and sisters all rolled into one. She is the cheese to my macaroni, the butter to my toast.
She worries about her final year ahead and grades and I tell her that she cannot be defined by a letter or number. It pains me to see the damage this does to young adults who are robbed of their self esteem and confidence by a high school grade, in an already fragile period of life. Instead, I remind her there is never failure in life because we are only ever seeking to find our balance and no piece of paper will ever have any bearing on how much love I have for her or how much she should have for herself. Nor should a piece of paper with a number on it dim her inner light. Yes it may open some doors for her, but what of a smart brain with no love or light to steer it? Balance darling, balance I tell her.
I tell her she is capable of anything she puts her mind to but the key to success is happiness. I tell her not to let others define happiness for her, not to measure happiness by possessions or job titles, but to measure it by the very emotion she feels as she travels along her path. I remind her to always follow her heart and that she will be supported in every decision she makes, or doesn’t make.
Life is a lesson for us all and the most humbling part of being a parent is being able to share that wisdom, not dictate, not control or manipulate, but to nurture and allow our children to fine tune their own music so they may find harmony in life and in doing so, they will find themselves. If we are honest and come from a place of love and truth in our roles as parents, we can dissolve the cellular memory of the errors in our lineage, those errors we experienced that did not serve us. We can dissolve them with pure love knowing we have not passed them on to our own children but have instead, learned from them.
All of the children on this planet are beautiful sparks of creation. Who are we to dim their light? Who are we to decide that our fears are so important that another human being must live by the rules we put in place as our personal defences? There is enough fear already. Mothers, sisters, grandmothers, fathers, brothers, grandfathers, friends, carers, let’s steer a brighter future for all children. It all starts with shining the light from our own hearts to show them the way. Hold them close, share the love and teach them to live bright.