Bacon Little and Tea Love were off on another adventure. While Bacon Little was getting jiggy with it in the car, Tea Love looked over at him with such motherly admiration and thought, “The golden moments are the most ordinary ones.”
“What a beautiful day!” Bacon Little said with such celebratory fervor.
Tea Love smiled the kind of smile perhaps only a full double rainbow can match and proceeded to acknowledge this grand observation by simply saying, “Indeed, it is.”
“To allow our children to bloom into who they are without our notions of who we think they should be is tricky parenting business,” Tea Love thought to herself as Bacon Little still danced with much excitement in the passenger seat.
Tea Love and Bacon Little were enjoying their annual journey to opening day at summer camp. It was his 5th year at summer camp and also the summer before the big middle school years. Each day seemed to demonstrate a new sign of maturation right before Tea Love’s eyes.
Tea Love had been thinking about authentic parenting relationships and rearing a true freedom rider. Meaning, rearing a child that feels completely confident and comfortable engaging life with their true essence and not what the world is telling them they should or could be doing.
“That means being a true freedom rider myself,” Tea Love thought as she waved to Bacon Little and wished him an awesomesauce time at camp.
As Tea Love usually does after these enlightening moments, she wrote this down in her journal before she drove off so she wouldn’t forget, “We place all these expectations on our children and we desire them to be so many things, but often we can lose sight that they are their own beings with their own desires and that if we wish them to be the best versions of themselves, we must show them that we, too, espouse those same principles.”
On the drive home, Tea Love was pondering the recent work she read of family counselor and writer, Shefali Tsabary. Tsabary notes, “In order for our children to absorb our ways, we need to embody our values in our own life in such a manner that our purpose spills from our being with a radiance that’s hard to miss.”
At that moment, Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake came blasting from Tea Love’s playlist. She was flooded with such joyous memories this song evoked in her role as a mom and a teacher. She was overwhelmed with emotion and could feel the tears rolling down her cheeks, so she stopped the car.
Tea Love continued to reflect on Tsabary’s counseling premise, then crouched her head down into her hands with a sigh muttering, “It’s hard doing this mom stuff. I miss him already!”
She continued in theatrical conversation with herself raising her hands to the heavens as if pleading with the powers that be to just give her the right answer once and for all!
With her hands raised and her heart pumping all those zen tangle loopy tunes, she exclaimed, “I take a step forward and a few back and I just want him to be the best he can be and somehow I still mess it up though my best intentions are put forward. When will I learn the right formula?!”
And, as if lightening struck Tea Love with a precocious dose of parenting philosophy, she uttered these words while reminiscing over a recent conversation with Bacon Little, “Trust the process.”
While she momentarily forgot she was on some back road in the Texas Hill Country, the buzzing cars soon brought her attention back to the sticky hot summer drive and the faint smile of Bacon Little waving his mom off as she drove away from camp. The music filled her heart, “I got this feeling inside my bones, it goes electric when I turn it on…”
With a renewed sense of depth and meaning to this particular camp journey, Tea Love got herself together, turned the volume up and hit repeat on the playlist.
Like many well-intentioned parents, Tea Love realized that all her mistakes were part of the process of parenting. There was no right formula or checklist. There was only embodiment – the act of thinking, doing, and living in a way that we wish not only ourselves to live, but our kids to live as well. It’s the kind of living that takes your whole heart.
“I suppose I do this most of the time,” Tea Love said with ease at this realization. Tea Love can be hard on herself. When she’s at her worst she questions every word, thought, and teaching she’s ever shared, but then there are the seemingly ordinary moments that show up not so ordinary by the intensity of the color they open inside her heart chambers.
After the long drive home, Tea Love pulled into the driveway, placed the car in park and got lost in a recent memory with Bacon Little. They had been driving around town running errands for camp when she and Bacon Little were talking about various family dynamics and how some people’s behavior and mindset can impact us in ways that takes an extra does of the awesomesauce energy to self-regulate our frustrations.
In the most matter of fact voice, Bacon Little stated, “Well, Mom, I suppose everyone has pros and cons.” It’s something they often talked about when relationship dynamics was at the forefront of their conversation.
“Well, that’s the impact of embodiment,” Tea Love thought. She leaned away from the driver’s seat and searched for her pen and journal that she always kept handy in her purse.
Uncapping the pen, she wrote this on the blank page, “Always radiate the awesomesauce.”
In the end, the only thing we have is the moment-to-moment lived. Trusting the process is not only the formula, but it also contains the golden moments we might miss if we are searching for the checklist.
Om Shanti Om ~ Athea