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…