Sunday, April 22, 2012
Yes. Well. That was pretty bad. I was also going to tell you how I am attributing days (or weeks) like this to simple brain-branching, neural overload, the inevitable ravages of inhabiting a growing body and mind. The good thing about this is that one has only to adopt a this-too-shall-pass attitude towards the whole thing, and pray for patience and fortitude til the storm passes.
But then this morning I was sitting in church and watching a young teenager snuggle into her papa's shoulder, admiring their easy intimacy, how they inclined their heads and whispered into each others' ears. It brought back memories of sitting with my own father in just that way, along with an attendant wave of feelings: safety, security, warmth, the peace of being encircled and contained by the boundless love of a parent.
I realized that imparting that feeling to another might be the most essential part of our job as parents: quietly holding our children as they struggle through all the learning and changing and hard bits. Of course it seems so much more complicated as the busy days unfold: decisions, discipline, school, health, schedules. But I was grateful for that pair in the pew today, for reminding me that everything else passes and ultimately doesn't matter too much.
Those quiet moments feel so impossibly good to us parents - reading at bedtime, drifting off next to a nursing babe, a long, lingering good morning hug. My feeling-memory this morning reminded me of how these moments also lodge in our children, under their skin and bones, deep deep down, and stay with them always. Moments that gather to form a safe harbor within. What finer gift could we give another person? What a privilege it is to be a parent!