my outfit: sweater :: downeast basics // blouse :: silence and noise // skirt :: j.crew c/o uptown cheapskate // tights :: f21 // booties :: mossimo
kumquat's outfit: sweater, t-shirt, tutu :: gymboree // tights :: cherokee // silver shoe that doubles as a teething toy :: gift
Powerful speech by the brother of a young man who passed away from pediatric cancer at the gala that closed the Build Your Blog Conference 2015 last night - the Imagine Dragons lyric he quoted really hit home for me.
"The path to heaven runs through miles of clouded hell."
No, I'm not dying of cancer, nor anything quite so intense. Life has been full of changes recently, though, and as I wake from my second night without my daughter since her birth, I find myself contemplating the paradoxical form of death that accompanies parenthood: an unintended, unspoken death that rips me apart from the inside out. Every day, my baby girl gets just a little bigger, grows up just a little more, and every day, a tiny piece of me dies as I watch her become more and more independent, knowing her innocence will be ripped away all too soon.
But even as I mourn this passing, something new and beautiful moves in to take it's place: shadows of the extraordinary woman she will one day become begin to take form; pieces of her Self develop and take the shape of the broken pieces of my heart where her baby self once resided.
And she is amazing. All parents have dreams for their children; visions of who they will be and the things they will accomplish. The heartbreaking reality of parenthood is that we spend our entire lives teaching our children how to leave us. Every pain experienced by the child is felt, perhaps even more acutely, by the parent, which makes it difficult (almost impossible) not to reach in and pull them from harm's way - but we must resist this temptation, only one of many situations where our wellbeing is sacrificed for theirs.
I've seen first-hand the dangers and damages of planning someone else's life for them; whether your child or your partner, drawing maps with her name on them in all caps can only lead to resentment and failure (on your part, not hers). As parents, it is our job to teach our children HOW to make the right choices - not just what the right choice is.
I am not a perfect parent, and the Gods know I'm far from perfect person. But I know WHO I want my daughter to see me as, the values and ideals that I want her to inherit. I am her mother, and I am accountable to her as an example of how to be a good person. It's up to me to live my life the way I hope she'll learn to live hers.
Being a mom is heart wrenching and glorious, full of terror and happiness and everything in between. And I love it.
Life is hard right now; our future is uncertain and I'm terrified of what might happen next. Sometimes it's difficult to discern between what I want and what's really best for Kumquat. But all I can do is move forward in what I feel is best for my daughter - outside pressures and differing opinions be damned.
How do you gauge what's in the best interests of your child, versus what you want? How do you examine your motives to differentiate between the two? Leave your thoughts and advice in the comments.
Check back tomorrow for more from the Build Your Blog Conference 2015, including a round up of my favorite tips from the conference, and click here to learn more about the Tyler Robinson Foundation and how they and the Imagine Dragons are fighting pediatric cancer.