My five week old daughter is my greatest teacher. She taught me about patience and perseverance while we waited over five years for her to make her way to us. She taught me that life is most certainly not to be taken for granted. She taught me that my capacity for love is greater than I could ever have imagined. She taught me to slow down and to take care of myself… to set priorities and stick to them. To set boundaries, even when they were difficult to set and people may have been offended or disappointed. To ask questions and to advocate even if it meant confronting authority figures. To place health and life above money and power. To let go of the roles and responsibilities that had fuelled my need to be needed but were robbing my marriage and health of vital energy at a time when I needed all the energy I could get. She taught me how to really respect my body, including how to eat, move and rest in ways that allowed me to heal and to help her grow. She taught me that I needed to work with my body instead of against it in order for her to survive. She taught me that I could love myself more than I ever imagined, and that I could love my husband more deeply than I ever thought possible. She gave my husband a chance to really shine as an equal partner and to hone his skills as a caretaker and nurturer, months before he’d change his first diaper.
She taught me to let go and let God (and all of the helpers along the way). I gave up being the manager of the universe and the world did not stop turning. In fact, others were empowered and given opportunities to lead and to serve. The world became a better place… people around me blossomed. I learned to trust others and to release responsibility… And when things were not done “my way” I learned to release my high standards and unreasonable expectations.
She continues to teach me that I can’t schedule every detail of our lives and that I am truly not in charge. I frequently start to forget this lesson, and she makes sure that I am firmly and lovingly reminded when I regress.
I am looking forward to continuing to learn from my little teacher. These are the toughest courses I have ever been enrolled in, and ones that are changing me in a way that no University education could… I am humbled and amazed.
Thank you for the lessons, Sweet Girl.