A new chapter of connection

I was organizing the information for an event on Saturday, while preparing some communication material and listening to Monday night study at Iris led by Beni. Jackie was next to me on the couch, chatting with her friend on whatsapp and researching some info about the Aurora. We sat like that for nearly an hour. Quietly doing our own thing. Can that be considered quality time?

Yesterday we talked about who has the newest iPhone in Jackie’s class. She told me that there are two kids who have no phone at all. There is a quiet competition or comparison. Jackie got Conrad’s old iPhone 8. We saved it for her. And though she had access to an old iPhone for 3 years she never spent any time on it (except to call when she got to the bus) until this year. The social engagement exploded. For all the 10+ year old colleagues. They talk among each other during school year, in the afternoons, about projects, plans, homework etc. Jackie has a best friend and they talk about the boys they like. She still tells me stuff and I don’t make a big deal out of it. That gives her the space to process without my overly processed input. We have a good thing going.

It was 8 pm and ivy was playing tag with the kids on the street. Jackie said she is hungry for tortellini. I had pasta shells and pesto and I cooked her a large portion. As we were roaming about the kitchen she told me I’m a pretty great mom. Even when I get angry sometimes. There is always a reason. Dad doesn’t get angry, she said. He gets overly sarcastic but Jackie concluded it doesn’t bother her because she is sarcastic so they speak the same language. But she is very happy that I’m her mom.

She hugged me and I kissed her head. She is at my chin. We sat like that quietly and relished in the warmth. Then she asked if we want to adopt a boy as well. Because they would like that, and probably we’ll get along just fine after the initial shock of change in home dynamic. I told her I finally am at peace and comfortable with the rhythm of our family. “And you wouldn’t want to lose that?” she asked. I told her we’ve considered the idea of adopting and we’ll revisit the possibility. But I’m glad she is open to it. I wonder what prompted the change of heart. A few months ago she was adamant that she doesn’t want any more siblings. I think to a degree she understands that we are responsible and capable to lead well and influence the peace and balance in the house. Our love expanded even as our attention divided a bit. I think it is a matter of trust. And I am honored to hear her heart about how she believes we could do it. As a family.

We take one day at a time. But this Monday after easter vacation was one of the sweetest connections on the fly I had with my very mature 10 year old daughter. She is able and strong and resilient. And I believe that whatever life throws at her, she will overcome gracefully and stronger on the other side.