“A happy wedlock is a long falling in love.”

~ Theodore Parker

For me this quote could be altered to apply equally to parenting: a happy family life is a long falling in love. Thinking back to time with my newborn daughter I’m reminded of the overflowing emotion, especially a feeling of love, that pervaded our home. I could while away hours simply watching her, smelling her, or stroking her soft skin. Each day with her brought new experiences, discoveries about who she was, what she needed, how she communicated and, of course discoveries about myself as a mother — who I was, what I had to give, how I communicated.

As my daughter has grown the discoveries haven’t ended, yet I sometimes forget that each day is still new and our journey together uncharted. As a mama I think one of the greatest gifts I can offer my daughter is to be open to seeing her with new eyes daily, tuning in to who she is in this moment and this experience and seeking to learn what it is she’s asking for from me (and what she’s offering to me as well).

Staying in the now

It’s so easy to rely on our history with someone and forget to keep paying attention. Though we often say it in words — “They grow up so fast.” — we seem to sometimes act as if who are children are is frozen in time. I want to offer my daughter the space to change and grow, to try on new ways of being, new ideas, new choices. I want to grant her the freedom of becoming herself — who she is made to be, not merely who mama thinks she could, should, or would be. For me, this means letting go of fixed pictures or expectations, releasing my fears and trusting her to find her place. It also means letting go of yesterday and not reaching too soon to tomorrow.

If you share this desire to be open to falling in love anew with your child each day, I’d be delighted if you’d take a moment to comment.