Sunday, May 13, 2012


June, 2011. 
Max's Grade 8 celebration. 
He is much taller now. :)

"There is no fear in tenderness.  Tenderness is not a weakness, lack of strength, or sloppiness; tenderness is filled with strength, respect, and wisdom.  In tenderness, we know how and when to touch someone to help them to be and be well."  
Jean Vanier, Becoming Human.

Yesterday, my two children accompanied me to the market.  This is a rare occasion.  Usually, I go on my own, early and armed with my camera.I kept my camera hidden because I know my spontaneous photo clicking of decorated legs and human costumes embarrasses them! (Eye-rolling....OMG, there goes my crazy Mom taking photos again of someone's footwear! She's nutty!)

My market trips are my Saturday morning ritual to meander while clearing my head from a work week.  Its a time to touch base with the folks I know who work or panhandle there.... and for random encounters with friends, neighbours and colleagues, for picture taking and chatting.  Yesterday, it was a little different.  I felt like a Momma chick showing off her little family....two strappingly tall beauties on either side of me.  I was the short one in the middle smiling proudly.   My focus was on them, on what they had to say, on how they interacted with the vendors and the random people from our lives that we bumped into.

Our time together didn't last very long.  We toured the stalls and stopped a few times.  Before we knew it, Martha flew off to meet up with her friends.  Max and I headed home.  But, it wasn't the length of time that mattered.  It was the feeling of enjoying each other's company while chatting and swapping a few jokes that only the three of us would laugh at. It was a sense of belonging that permeated us and spun energy around us.  It was a touching of that invisible energy.... like fingertips to fingertips...... 

Togetherness.  We are each other in a fresh breeze way.  Family.  We thrive in good and bad weather.  We thrive because no matter how much freedom there is in the personal journey, there is a nest to come home to.  A haven where unconditional love and listening offers safe landings.  Like anyone, we spend time on our own......... doing tasks, figuring out our own stuff, being quiet.  Maybe that's why when the three of us are sharing a meal, or are involved in an activity together, there is an unspoken tenderness that binds us beautifully. 

As individuals, we have experienced a whole lot of struggles.  Growing pains.  Uncertainty.  Frustration.  Loneliness. New horizons. Human learning. Stretching beyond comfort zones.  I know how much they worry about me, and still do as I try to regain my zip!  They count on me, and I encourage it.  Honest open conversations.  Truth, honesty.  Meaningful moments that remind them that I am their lead.  I am Mom.   

They know how much I worry about them too as they forage forward into independence.  That's my job....... figuring out  when to let go, when to intervene, when to nurture....when to stand on the sidelines applauding their amazing accomplishments.  Encouragement enthusiastically trumps worry.  Love expressed through action, through reliability, through the daily gifts we share feeds the tenderness we innately feel for each other. 

This is what I was thinking as I walked to the market with my tall beauties at my side.   Because we have conquered some of life's big hills together.   Because we acknowledge the daily little hills we attempt too.  Because we know deep in our beating hearts that we love one another to the moon and back, we are fine.  More than just fine.  Blessed by this knowledge and by belonging.

Today is Mother's Day........... its a special one for me as I cognitively and emotionally revisit the past year's milestones.   Martha's personal experiences forced her to stretch beyond, beyond her comfort zone.  Max's body has stretched beyond, beyond his comfort zone.  Both have encountered big transitions in their academic and personal lives...... stuff I could help them with, stuff their friends could help them with, but lots and lots of stuff they had to dig deep inside themselves to figure out solutions, to make decisions.  Just like their Momma.  

It has been a year (or two) when I have found myself on my knees more than I can count.  I've learned my perspective from there is cleansed becomes much clearer.  

But, here we ARE!  Whole, transitioning,  transforming....... reflecting ....... becoming..........always grateful for their tenderness.  

I am a very very lucky Mom.  

Happy Mother's Day. 


Sheila Frame said...

Awesome piece Dana, thanks.

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