Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I spend the day with both the kids and the hubby–nothing special, just a trip to our favorite Chinese buffet…but so much sweeter for (finally) being with the hubby again and seeing the kids with their daddy. I also caught one of my favorite NPR shows via the net, which (aptly) was a discussion of parenting as a spiritual practice.
- Spiritual parenting, as Sylvia Boorstein describes it, is not about adding work or effort to our overly busy lives. It is about self-knowledge and “wise effort” that helps us live gracefully moment by moment. It is manifest as much in how we fold the laundry as in how we discipline or praise our children.
- (O)ur children are likely, in the end, to act and live as we act and live. Nurturing their inner lives means nurturing our inner lives, for their sake.
- (W)hen one becomes a father, or a mother, one suddenly sees oneself as vulnerable, in the most sensitive part of one’s being; one is completely powerless to defend oneself, one is no longer free, one is tied up. To become a father is to experience an infinite dependency on an infinitely small, frail being, dependent on us and therefore omnipotent over our heart. (quoted from the theologian Louis Evely)
The whole discussion put me in mind of something I’d recently read on another blog:
Children ought to rest in the certainty of their parents’ love and devotion; they ought to learn that they are under no obligation to reciprocate that love with the same intensity. Right now, there’s no one in the world my Heloise loves more than me and her mother. This is because she’s two. But if that’s still the case four decades for now, I’ll be sad — not because I require my daughter to reproduce, but because the greatest and deepest passions of our lives shouldn’t be for our parents. They should be for those whom we choose and those whom we nurture, not those who chose or made or us.
On one hand, I could probably wax poetic on this topic for a hot minute…but on the other hand, I don’t think I could say it any better than Hugo’s mom–Love flows downhill. And now, my downhill flowing love needs to read a story to my not-yet-adjusted-to-a-new-time-zone children in the hopes that they will go to sleep.