never stops teaching.
Journaling for awareness. Growing for life.
Each day that I drop you off at school, I say to you cheerfully, “Go learn something and have some fun.” And everyday when I pick you up, I look at you to check and see if your heart is okay. This week you came home one day with heavy steps and slumped shoulders. You said you were fine. You weren’t ready to talk. Later at home when the tears collected and brought out the green in your eyes, my heart whispered to yours, don’t swallow them back; let them fall. You’ve been through some bumps before, but this was new. This was bigger. You told me what happened, expressed feelings of pain and sadness, and I knew this would be a moment that you would always remember. It is a moment that I will always remember too. You see, my darling, I may have given birth to you, but you continue to give birth to aspects of me. And this week the Mother Warrior was born. I have always fought for you—I was a fighter getting you into the world; I have been a hero for your health and safety and a liberator for your feelings and ideas—but I now find myself called into a profound new position. I will be the warrior for your heart.
I know I cannot hover above you, propellers spinning, and shield you from all pain. Nor can I just sit back each day and watch you march off into the glorious battle of growing up. So I will put on a suit of armor glitter-glued together from every gift of kindness you’ve ever given me—popsicle sticks and feathers and love—and I will fight for kindness in your world. There will be days when I will want to bundle your joyful spirit in bubble wrap, but I know I cannot. Instead I will draw from every experience of heartache that I’ve had—every time I was pushed down, left behind, treated unfairly, emotionally bruised or beaten—and they will become bandages in my pack, saturated with understanding. When you fall down, I will wrap your pain in loving awareness. I will listen to you and help you turn your pain into wisdom. I will celebrate your incredible compassion and forgiveness, your power to heal yourself, as you too grow wildly into experience. I will be a warrior for your heart.
You are strong. You will weather many storms on your own. Still there will be days when I will want to run like a banshee into the streets, screaming, “Do not hurt my child.” Some days, I might have to. But my greatest defense will be gentle and will come from a treasure trove deeper than any hope chest, where I’ve stored every kiss you’ve ever given me, every I love you, your every spark of light and bounce of joy. And I will reach in and grab hold, and with my bow, I will sail your light across the sky like fire. I will reflect the light you have given me right back to you, and I will help you find your way by reminding you of who you are. I will whisper to you softly (and sometimes shout across a great distance), “You are precious!” I will remind you that you deserve love. I will be a warrior for your heart.
You may remember this week for a long time to come. But please also remember this: I may have wrapped my arms around you, but it was your own inner strength that returned your laughter. I may have sent a flair of light up into the sky and demanded kindness from your world, but it was your own light, and it guided you back onto your path. You are strong, my darling. And you will never be alone. I will wear my beautiful, glittery armor proudly, because it is you who gave it to me—my reminder that one can only fight for kindness and beauty in this world with kindness and inner beauty. I will carry my pack filled with bandages of understanding and pints of ice cream, and no pain will go unattended. Nothing will bring me greater joy, because you are my heart. And I will be a warrior for yours.