I awaken with a start with a stir of adrenaline in my heart, prompted by these tireless gnawing thoughts. Have I done enough? Have I served her well enough? Did I go off track somewhere along the way? Has my hasty compulsive desire for tidiness and order unintentionally squashed her God-given talents? Her creativity? It’s undeniable that my presence in her life impresses upon her emerging self in a profound sort of way. Have I provided enough opportunity or exposure? Have I nurtured in the right ways through word and deed?
I am imperfect by design so that I may depend upon the One who molded and shaped me. But it is difficult, neigh, near impossible at times, to accept and embrace my full humanity as mother, parent, nurturer. I can be hasty, rash and painfully abrupt. I can brush things aside quickly with disregard for the time and attention that went into creating the very things that I regard as obstacles to my forward movement. I have need for things to be in their place because that keeps me at ease inside and appeals to my aesthetic taste. She has a pension for tucking things above, below, behind, beneath because it feels good to her to be surrounded by her things. “It feels like mommy, comfort, being taken care of” was her response to my question, “Why do you like scattering your stuff all over the place like this?” I’m not even sure how to respond to these wise beyond-her-years words. Slowing down to digest them would surely reveal deep insight but speeding up to tidy more assures me that I am not destined to live amidst her clutter for the next 10 years.
I compare myself to the mothers who take the time to stand in observance of the countless awe-inspiring creations that are manifested by their budding artists each day. I feel a twinge of jealousy at their patience and ability to sift and sort through the multitude of sketches, drawings, paintings and hand-written narratives of all kinds. If it's something that appears to be more of a means to an end, I’m quick to scrunch it up and feed it to the recycling bin. When it arrives at the fire pit for a ritual or get-rid-of-shit burning, she informs me of the care she put into creating it and her sadness at my lack of appreciation.
In the quiet of tonight, the voice in my head is anything but. It taunts me suggesting that I could be doing more, am not enough, have not done or given enough. It’s a fucking broken record with a nauseating tune. Yet when I fail to change the channel quickly enough, I am convinced that what I am hearing might be true. My influence over my offspring is enough to frighten me at times. It makes me want to be more, do better, work harder.
But what if it’s less about being or doing more in any way and more about stopping the looping track, pulling the needle out of that old familiar groove and placing it back down to resume the track or tune that is her, that is God’s unique way of expressing through her? What if I stopped to watch, observe, listen? What if I take 30 minutes, or even just 5, to notice what and who stands before me? What if?
‘slowandsimpleliving’ is my mantra because nothing of real value seems to come from hurry and complication. Help me to heed the call to slow down and simplify my thinking above all else, to pause and reflect while standing in observance of her and all the stuff she brings forth as an extension of her growing self. Whether it’s messy creative flow or her final masterpiece, help me to appreciate it just the same...because it is coming through her, a co-creator in her own right with the one who called her into being.
I'm Kelly Isabelle.
Full-time workin' mama & spouse aspiring to live a slowly paced, sustainably minded, creatively expressed, clutter-free life shared with kindred folk.