A rare moment of self-disclosure. The initial wave of joy felt after becoming a parent almost thirteen years ago, quickly ebbed to a full-on feeling of dread. It sent me straight to therapy. One life-changing experience set off a chain of transformative events that, as prior to that moment of holding my daughter for the first time, I would have never imagined lead me to where I am today. That’s not a boastful statement, and I not claiming to be in any place of higher ground. I mean that in terms of my perspective on life. The reason I bring this up is that there was one statement my therapist made that has stuck with me through the years. She believed in reincarnation and held a belief that we actually choose our parents based on what we need, which is based on the what our parents will be weakest at providing for us. I can’t say that I align with her belief system, however, the latter idea is terribly intriguing.
Any strengths, experiences or wisdom I have gathered in my life would surely have helped me be a parent to myself. That’s my greatest failure as a parent; seeing my daughter as some reincarnation of me. She doesn’t need to understand what I know. She needs me to learn to understand what she needs. I’ve learned that parenting is not something you do to your children. To parent literary means to act as a mother or father. Your children teach you what this means.