As a parent, I find myself consistently coming to terms with my short comings. I am not perfect, no one is, yet I want to hold myself to a standard that just doesn't exist. While I am the best parent I can possibly be at any given moment, I am not a perfect one.
Which is okay, most of the time.
Most of the time I don't even consider that I am not perfect at parenting; that I am not a perfect person.
Most of the time I am working to fully appreciate each moment.
Life has a way of throwing challenges in my path at times though that serve to teach me or to remind me that it is really, really okay not to e a perfect parent or a perfect person.
Earlier this week, as I walked home from work, I found myself overcome with the awareness that I am still, after years, taking responsibility for choices that I did not make in regards to my daughter. The emotions came fully to bare as I fought tears and felt completely detached from the physical activity of legs moving forward and feet hitting pavement.
For fourteen years, my life has proven itself to be an exercise in choosing how I will respond; in taking deep breaths and recognizing the opportunities and the choices that present themselves; and seeing that with one choice comes other choices in that we are not locked into anything.
My sorrow, my complete astonishingly powerful emotions centered on my inability to make it different; my inability to provide for my daughter something I know wasn't possible and only exists in my heart and personal life experience.
My mind knows that my belief system does not apply to my daughter; maybe in those moments my heart recognized this too?
Why here and why now I remember thinking. But as I look back, it is not surprising that my thoughts turned back to a strong belief in what I wanted for my child and how I am still working to come to terms with my lack of power to make that happen.
As tears tingled in my eyes and I struggled to bring my awareness bully back into my physical body and its movements, I kept walking. While I recognize the need to accept, once again, that every one walks a different path; travels a different journey; and experiences a different adventure - I also have to remember that what I felt to be a core gift to my daughter was not a gift in her life in the same sense it was in mine. I have shared all that I gained with her such that my gift is hers with a different spin; but a gift all the same.
In a way, her gift is mine in that we both are asked to find the gifts that come from absence over presence; to find the gift that comes from within each of us and through the choice or perspective.
I am not a perfect parent or a perfect person, but I am continually working to be, and thus to model, a person who is unfolding and evolving on the path less traveled.