The rare moments when parenting is perfect.

The rare moments when parenting is perfect.

It happened. My child made all of my parenting dreams come true with a single sign of American Sign Language. We were preparing cookie dough together to stash in the freezer for future cookie cravings. She helped me measure, stir, and use the mixer. We prepared the dough, rolled it out, and put it in the freezer. We were cleaning up and I told her we were all done our cooking project. And that’s when she looked at me and signed “more”. Giant swirly fireworks exploded in my heart. Somewhere Over the Rainbow started playing from thin air like a movie scene. It was the moment I had wished for. She wanted to keep baking because she, like me, loves baking. Since then, whenever I pull out my favorite giant silver bowl that I often use for baking, she trots over to our pantry, opens the door, and points to her step stool. Every single time my heart explodes into a million tiny pieces.

 

I’m sure there were dreams you too envisioned when your child was first born. Wishes about the things you might share, activities you might do together. I remember holding my daughter after our first sleepless night together in the hospital. I sat on a sofa next to my daughter’s mama holding my sleeping little one and looking out the window. I watched seagulls flying as the sun rose over the mountains in the distance. I thought about all the magical things in our world I wanted to share with her. The flying seagulls, the awe-filled stillness of dawn, the magic of sleepy humans stirring into their days. I imagined sharing with her the intoxicating smell of tomato plants while stuffing our faces with sungolds, baking with flour all over our hands and clothes, walking slowly through the woods and looking up to see the sun trying to peek its way through the canopy, and sitting in lounge chairs on the beach burying our feet in the sand.

 

I knew the wishes were idyllic. I knew that even if those wishes did come true, their fulfillment would be fleeting. The magical moment would come and go with the blink of an eye. More important than my picturesque wishes was my desire that my child be who she needs to be with my full support and encouragement. So, if she be a nature hater who never sets foot in a kitchen or garden, so be it.

 

So, I try not to take it for granted, this time we share baking together. The time we spend in the garden filling baskets with sungolds. This time where I get to share the things I love, the things that have brought me nourishment and fulfillment. I know these beautiful moments are temporary. But as I’ve watched her grow more into who she is, a whole new series of wishes have emerged. I look forward to learning about what things she will learn to love. I hope she will find things that sustain her soul and enrich her being. I hope that as she gets older she will always be willing to share the things she loves with me. And, though I may not say it out loud, I will silently ask for more.  

 

While I held my baby, I learned how to hold my heart.

While I held my baby, I learned how to hold my heart.

The joy in grief. The grief in joy.

The joy in grief. The grief in joy.