Black and white

I was re-reading yesterday a “letter to my daughters” I was invited to contribute with for a noteworthy magazine called the woman. I still stand by what I wrote, but I felt so strongly then that a foundation of belief (as in identity and faith) is my most valuable gift. By comparison everything else faded. Parenting is so layered and complex. And I think I saw things so black and white because I was utterly exhausted emotionally. The demands of parenting strip you off of your false sense of realization or control. And maybe that’s a good thing. But one can say that with ease only in hindsight.

This week my eldest daughter took a three day trip with her class. Getting her ready, while being her class’ money person, collecting the funds though a slew of avenues, while being part of way too many WhatsApp groups, my mind was stretched thin. Summer vacation can’t come soon enough.

It’s a season when my 9 year old daughter questions everything. Well, she’s been doing it forever but I had more energy then and when she was younger it came across as a hunger for knowledge and understanding. Now it comes across as disagreement, or questioning. I think parents everywhere occasionally want their word to be taken at face value. I have spent my whole parenting life building trust. Or so I thought. And trust goes both ways. Eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later, I can tap into that trust and she will say: “I am not sure why I have to do this, but I trust you”. Is there such a time? Or, “I don’t feel like doing this, but I will do it because I know it’s good for me.” (homework, stretches, school, taking showers, tidying up the room) The only thing j does without convincing is brushing her teeth.

I work from all the angles. I try to give space for trial and error. I avert my eyes so I don’t nag or burden with correction. I empower. I confidently follow through with stuff. I let go of inconsequential things and I worry and I doubt sometimes. Most things don’t seem to stick. At least not in my expected timeframe. Progress is seen better from the outside.

I worry most about J’s scoliosis. But as I take a step back I realize this fretting state is not a healthy place for me to dwell in. So how can I find the balance? Let go to what extent?