Parallel journeys of self discovery and emotional growth.
Our conversation began with a reluctant recount of a less than perfect day at school. “She is actually very good at comforting me Momma, when I feel down or sad.” she revealed of her sister. I smiled. “Ah, that’s fantastic. Tell me how does she comfort you?” I asked gently, toning down my curiosity. “She holds my hand. Sometimes she just hugs me and does not say anything. But still it makes me feel better.” And after a pause she added, “We talk. She helps me solve my issues.”
I bent my knees. Lowered my body so our eyes would connect. I reached out and took both her hands in mine. Her eyes looked watery. The sides of her mouth turned up slightly into a shy smile. I let these words out gradually, “I am so proud of you. I loved hearing you say that. Thank you for being open and sharing that with me. It is wonderful to be able to lean on each other for support.”
The ding of an electronic bell took us away from this extraordinary moment when time paused for us. The lift had arrived. She nodded quickly and looked away abruptly. She straightened her posture and lifted her chin. The features on her face toughened. My warrior child strode through the separating metal doors, confidently and assured.
She is much less guarded now. She feels deeper into her own emotions and explores connections with her heart. Her need to be rational, self-reliant and fiercely independent are foundation pillars of her resilience and personal success. In her own mind, feeling with her heart was previously interpreted as weakness. I have observed her soften with the enlightenment that sensitivity will not dilute her force. At this very moment, as I re-read this last paragraph, I wonder if the “she” I am referring to is my daughter, or me.