I work with families that have children birth to three years old, and we talk a lot about attachment and the importance of that first relationship with our parents. They are our teachers. Our guides. Our attachment figures. They feed us and care for us day after day, long night after long night. They pass down to us their values and beliefs. Their relationship with us creates our inner speech about who we are and how we relate to the world around us.
Kind of important, eh?
And as we grow, so does our relationship with our parents.
*cue adolescence and teenage years*
We push them away. We rebel. We question everything. We make life pretty damn difficult for awhile. (Says the one who made lots of trouble… I just wasn’t always caught.)
And then we become adults, and parents ourselves. We navigate the boundaries of having our own families yet being a part of our childhood family. We muddle through raising our own children and figuring out what we want to pass down and what we want to change for the better. And we build our own identity as a person.
It was in this stage that I really became best friends with my mom. She was always so conscientious (sometimes too much) of being a new grandparent and not wanting to overstep the boundaries into being a parent. She was so kind to always include my family in everything and always wanting to be included in our things (sometimes too much). And she was so silly and would engage so naturally in play with my children and still me (sometimes too much).
In these moments it sometimes felt like too much. Looking back now, I just wish I could have more.
Then I pause with my thoughts. And breathe into my heart space.
I do have more.
I have her strong work ethic. I have her frizzy hair. I have her musical rhythm. I have her passion for working with children. I have her silliness for sure. And I have her caring heart.
Its not the same, but I am grateful. Thanks mom. For everything, really. You are my best friend.