we dance

I watch in awe
as she grows
ever more capable
ever more inquisitive

from the edges
she watches and waits
a pensive observer
oh yes she will
she will dive in
almost certainly
and with delight
but on her own time

I don't mind this about her
I honor this about her

I marvel over her
and her many layers


lately it seems we
are in a delicate dance

there is an intensity to three that
we didn't see before
yeses are still yeses but nos are now
they are backed up physically
and emotionally

heels dig in on either side
sometimes we let go
sometimes we try but cannot seem to

we both are dancers

we dance together
each learning a bit more about the other
and ourselves

often my own reactions and emotions
are harder to swallow than hers
I own mine, after all
they are my territory
my work

for her I want much
of course
but obedience and compliance
are not necessarily traits I am
most keen on developing in her

which of course
leads us into tricky waters at times
times, especially,
of navigating these intense moments

I tend
I watch
I wait
I am sent off
and just as quickly
I am called back
by a
shaky, teary voice

I rock
I hold
I tell her how wonderful she is
even when she's screaming

I walk away

I try hard to walk away calm and centered
a good example of how to ride the frustration

of course
it doesn't always go down like that
I yell, I fume,
I say things maybe I shouldn't

I no longer beat myself up about it though

I continue to learn when to walk away
I will forever be learning, I know

we are a house of give and take
a house of mutual respect
a house of frustrations that we
sometimes, often, come back to discuss

"I love you mama, even when you're frustrated"
"I love you sweet girl, always, always, always"


I have learned that parenthood doesn't
always look quite like you'd imagined it might

but even more that I, as a parent
don't always look quite like I imagined I might

quite like I aim to be
and therein lies a great deal
of my work

after all, I'm the adult
she is learning
figuring it out

and testing, yes
of course there's that

but if I'm honest
if we are all honest
I think the testing goes both ways

and maybe we aren't even sure
or what
we are testing

and there is no way around that
not for us

and so we go through it
dancing together
and again

*not an hour ago I purchased my very own copies of Momma Zen (Karen Maezen Miller) and The Complete Buddhism for Mothers (Sarah Napthali) to have on hand....... after a discussion about toddler parenting books (Conscious Discipline by Alfie Kohn and Love and Logic for Toddlers) today with a dear friend, I remembered how I've always come away more equipped to sail smoothly through these dances when I've worked on myself. (though truly, the conscious discipline book leads one through much self-reflection, but still...)


  1. Little by little, one moment at a time, and forgive. This just about covers it. With love.

    1. honored that you stopped by and took the time to read and comment, Karen~ I find your books and words incredibly grounding, inspiring, and liberating!
      cheers from north carolina~

  2. oh gosh, I get all of this.
    It's not hard to understand how messed up the world is when we can admit to how hard parenting is for even the most conscious parents.

    1. we're all there (here) sometimes, aren't we?
      and good point, about the state of the world and all.... a lot to think about there

      cheers from nc!

  3. I recognise this. I might be the adult but that doesn't mean I have it figured out or even that I should have it figured out. It's important my daughter sees my struggle to live a good life, together -I think...authenticity seems more important than perfection

    1. Rachel, I agree completely with these wise words of yours and really, your comment about sums up what I tell myself in order not to be too hard on myself when it isn't all rosy) yes I guess we shouldn't (we can't really anyway, so why be under that illusion?)- I suppose if we thought we had it all figured out we wouldn't be open to learning, and we all will always have lots to learn. I think that our children learn so much from seeing us struggle to be who/what we want to be, seeing that it can be very very hard. I know I don't want her growing up always thinking she has to be or act perfect. Authentic, as you say, most definitely.


thanks for taking the time to read and comment~