It was boy-O's last day of grade one, and the parents were invited to see a video his wonderful and creative teacher made of the kiddos year. I was crying before the second song came on. It was so amazing to get to see images of my child learning an laughing and building friendships. Among my favourite images was the classes snowshoeing adventure, which seemed to mostly result in an enormous dogpile of children and snowshoes. Oh oh oh! The cuteness!
I even made the video on the day I went to his classes field trip. Not such a shit mom, maybe? Well - at least it felt like it for a wee brief moment, when the image of me and my grinning boy at the field trip appeared onscreen, and he grabbed my hand and squeezed it tightly. Mama swoon.
But the tears really started flowing when part of the video showed each of the students baby photo followed by their beginning and end of the year photos. At the end of each photo sequence was an 'I statement', like I am a learner, I am respectful, I am playful, etc. and my heart very nearly exploded into pieces when Boy-O's statement came up.
'I am open-minded.'
Ohhhhhhhhh. And ohhhh. Does this mama's heart so so so proud.
Sent from my iPhone
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Update: Heya fine peeps! I've been mysteriously MIA, I realize. Apologies. Life has brought lots of work challenges and I was prepping for a conference and going to a conference and then falling all in love... you know how it goes... :)
Looking and Leaping
You know that moment when you've been flying or walking the high wire or swinging trapeze or whatever your metaphor of preference is ... And you look down and realize, in a momentary panic, that you are completely and totally leaping about in the air without a safety net? You know that moment?
People respond to that moment in all kinds of ways:
They climb down the ladder and choose the stability of floor boards over the stomach butterflies and always looming potential of free falling.
They go half-way and demand a safety net before they risk.
Or they do like me. And say 'ahh, fuck it! What's so great about a safety net anyways?' and they continue to leap.
No risk is without calculation. In my case, the risk of falling in love, of letting go of the safety net, of refusing to go half-way, almost certainly guarantees that some shit is going to hurt in profound ways at some point. Maybe I will be left or betrayed or misunderstood or not heard. Maybe I will do those things to someone else. Maybe. Each of those scenarios would certainly be very painful.
But - it also seems to me that if love doesn't hurt you and smack you in the face from time to time, you probably aren't doing it right. Growing on our own is painful enough. Risking enough to grow with another person doubly so. It's tricky shit, this business of letting go and trusting another person to be careful with your heart. No matter when or how, or even if, it ends.
And what would I lose if I chose *not* to let go? Not to love? That is a question I don't think I could live with.
Loving is brave and it is foolish and it, in my case, is absolutely necessary. Perhaps it will Blow Up in our faces all cataclysmic-like. I don't think it will - but people in love seldom do. Of course, this is certainly a possibility. I would risk that and more for a chance at this here and this now with my lover. This chance to grow with someone in real and difficult and wonderful ways. A chance to let go and trust that right here and right now, I am loved. And that I can live without a safety net.
I generally dislike the ways we tend to speak of love. As if there is no choice or reason in it, as if it truly makes us blind. I think this is mostly garbage. Of course, there doesn't seem to be much sense-making in the business of attraction. But love is a whole other matter entirely. It is a choice. It is a choice to learn someone in profound and sometimes frightening ways. It is a choice to lay yourself bare enough to be known. It is a choice to open yourself up to the possibility, the probability, of loss. And I choose it. In the most full-bodied, open-hearted way that I know how.
Not everyone can understand this choice. That's ok. It's not a choice for everyone. It's a choice for me. And while it may look from the outside that I'm leaping without looking, I'm looking. Eyes wide open.
And *then* I'm choosing to leap. (Safety net, be damned.)