Time IS the Essence
As I’m often reminded it’s not all about me….
In the midst of my current “woe is me” mindset that has been spurred on by the heartless actions of someone in my life whom I’d once trusted implicitly, I have been touched by the words of a young man, who in reaching out to me has exposed his own vulnerability with a maturity beyond his mere fifteen years. He has shared with me his own sense of isolation from those he loves, which sadly reflects that of many teenagers I know.
With a deep sigh of relief I can reflect upon my own relationship with my lovely teenage daughter and confidently report a close and trusting bond, that lends itself to frequent D&M’s on the couch. Even very recently during a momentary pause in one such lengthy chin-wag she looked at me and said “You know mum most of the kids at school don’t talk with their parents like this.” I asked her why she thought that was and she replied, “Oh they’re all usually too busy doing their own thing”.
It made me think about a recent comment made to me by a stall holder at my local farmer’s market a couple of weeks ago. My younger daughter and I were wandering through the market, leisurely yet enthusiastically seizing every opportunity to sample the local tropical delights of fruits, cheeses, and even ‘lime and chilli chocolate’, and had stopped by The Spice Man to taste some citrus infused ‘Relaxing Herbal Tea’. The Spice Man commented that it was lovely to see a mother and daughter spending time in each other’s company. He referred to his own efforts as a father of two now adult daughters and how valuable such shared time was to enhancing their relationships.
I didn’t consider his feedback too deeply at the time but am coming to understand that parents, whom I have expected to be much wiser and practiced than me, appear not to acknowledge the importance of involving themselves in their children’s lives. Instead they choose to stand on the periphery as mere commentators to a sport they have forgotten how to play. Even more importantly, I feel they underestimate the value their children place on this involvement which carries so much greater meaning than spoiling with money and other material tokens of care and attention. Most young people I know respond appreciatively to simply being listened to and understood; the most significant priority in spending “time” together.
Perhaps I take for granted the loving bond I share with my girls that has grown out of the time we share with each other, but even in the depths of despair and stress that as a sole parent, can sometimes can envelope me, my “shard of light” in the darkness is the recognition that my daughters will prosper as a result. All the personal or financial woes in the world cannot take away from the self-confidence, optimism and sense of empowerment I see in the way my girls regard themselves and the future journeys they will one day embark upon with gusto !
To the young man who took the time to extend his love in his own time of despair – Let your inner resilience warm your thoughts and dreams for an exciting future soon to unfold…
I love this Colleen. My son is 19 and I raised him alone as well. We were always very close and he would say the same thing to me, “You know, no one else I know talks to their parents this way! My friends can’t believe the stuff I tell you!” He’s flying free now, but we remain close. The bond that you’re creating will live on and on and on…..:)
And this sentence of yours:
“All the personal or financial woes in the world cannot take away from the self-confidence, optimism and sense of empowerment I see in the way my girls regard themselves and the future journeys they will one day embark upon with gusto !”
IS SOOOOO TRUE! My son has such confidence and is dancing with life so boldly! I love it!
Have a Great One!
July 24, 2009 at 6:42 pm
oh I might have known the Trekker has hit and run! LOL. Hi. Have to at least let you know I read this and yeah, spot on, involvement and talking and engagement mean sooo much to children. Also, I see so many parents who, as you put it–deal with their kids from the sidelines of a spectator sport. It’s very strange. It’s like once the ‘baby’ is no longer a dress up doll then it’s no more ‘fun’ to play with the child. I really do not understand this though I’ve observed it for a long long time. Well, keep on enjoying your daughters’ company. salute!
July 25, 2009 at 2:36 pm
Hi, thank you for stopping by. I will certainly continue with great ease to enjoy my girls company. I’m glad there are many parents out there who share the same understanding of what truly matters to their children.
July 25, 2009 at 11:46 pm
This is a very powerful expression, and I agree with your involvement and stance as a parent. Nothing is more important to our children, regardless of what seems to be true, than our attention and care as parents. The response they give to it is amazing and immediate … and lasting.
July 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm
Hi Thanks for taking the time to read my post ! I’m so glad there are other parents who also invest their time and energy where it is truly valued.
July 25, 2009 at 11:48 pm
How Cool! You signed my guest book. Thanks! 🙂
July 25, 2009 at 8:00 pm
My pleasure !
July 25, 2009 at 11:49 pm
Thankyou for acknowledging my existence, I was touched on my camp by the amount of people who consider my a friend, I sat on my bed and read through my “affirmations” and over and over again, besides the 3 that were most important to me, I was touched by my friends, I was even called a brother by one of my close friends, which nearly brought me to tears, although I had never felt more alone on that camp, I also had never felt more loved. I thankyou for takeing your time to write that and I’m glad it touched you as I hoped it would, i forgot to mention to you, that..my shard of light…I don’t know why my heart is pounding as I write this to you…I’m just hopeing that you accept the fact that my light is infact….your daughter…Ashley…she means…everything to me, please don’t think i’m a 15 year old boy who doesn’t understand what “love is” or “what my feelings are”, because I love her, I ask you not to look at that as a bad thing, I only want the best for her, you and chloe, I cannot tell you how much it means to me to be “accepted” by a family that is not my own, to be thought of as a brother to chloe, I sit hear and write this to you, holding back the Imminent tears. I can safely say, I love Ash, You and Chloe, and once again I thankyou, for being a family to me:), please don’t cry…incase you are. I just want you to know that.
July 30, 2009 at 10:21 am
Oh Jack…what a Diamond you are ! I am happy that you and Ash enjoy such a rewarding bond at this stage of your journey which can be so confusing and isolating. I’m not surprised you received so many heartfelt affirmations from your friends. I know they look to both of you in absolute awe of how mature and insightful you are. oxox (no tears this time, I promise !)
July 31, 2009 at 1:29 am
I am not yet a mother but I am thankful that my mom had raised me in such a way that we are so close and that we can talk of almost anything. I hope I would be able to raise my children just like that.
By the way, how did you come upon my blog? I’m just curious.
July 31, 2009 at 10:48 pm
Hi, thanks for stopping by !
Hmm…well there was a lot of late night trawling through wordpress so I can’t be entirely sure but I think I found it by doing a ‘poetry’ seach under the wordpress dashboard !
I like your writing !
Have a great day,
July 31, 2009 at 10:54 pm
Wow. Thanks! 🙂
July 31, 2009 at 11:03 pm
I can’t think of anything so delicious as having a connection with a child when they look at you with that look and you can see the wheels turn and their faces just light up. It’s magic.
August 2, 2009 at 1:46 pm
Very nice piece of writing! above that, the point raised is sooo important for all parents as well as children. I am just 23, an student, want to express a lot of issues and realities but as english is not my first language I face so many difficulties in finding appropriate words. well I got a lot of help from your masterpieces.
Thanks a lot
Have a great LIFE!!
August 24, 2009 at 7:31 am
Hello Hassan from Pakistan,
Thanks for taking the time to comment. Keep reading as much as you can…and read a wide variety of texts and I’m sure your English will continue to excell. You seem to be managing extremely well for now !
August 24, 2009 at 10:17 am
Hello there, I just became noticed your blog via AOL, and found that it’s really informative. I am going to watch out for updates. I’ll appreciate if you continue the good work in the
future. Many people will benefit from your writing. Regards!
June 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm