Yesterday Emma did another “catch” at her trapeze school. Yesterday’s catch was more complicated than the one she perfected a month ago and I cannot wait to see it. I asked Em last night whether I could post it here and she said, “Yes! Post on blog!” Since Em’s therapist, Joe, hasn’t had time to upload and send me the link from yesterday , I’m sorry, I can’t help myself, I am posting her first catch from a month ago AGAIN. Watch all the way through to hear what Em says at the end, it makes me teary just thinking about it.
Watching her flying through the air makes me happy. Seeing her joy and sense of accomplishment, makes me happy. The first time I watched her swooshing through the air I felt a mixture of joy and trepidation, the second time a soaring hopefulness of all that is possible, the third time pride, knowing how hard she has worked, trained and practiced to get to this point. Years. Years of practicing. Just now, as I watched it again, I was reminded of how, it is the connections with other people who make our lives full and joyous. Connections rooted in trust, compassion, love, and a sense of belonging.
When Emma releases the bar and reaches out to grab the forearms of the other person, I cannot help but hold my breath. Even though I know the ending to this particular story, I still hold my breath. Will they catch her? Will she fall? Will she get hurt? Can she trust them, rely on them to be there for her? As I write this I know these are universal questions. Questions I have asked with both my children in mind, questions I have asked about everyone I’ve ever loved. But in this one instance Emma trusts the other person will be there to catch her and the tears fill my eyes because they are, yet I know this won’t always be the case. As much as I want to convince myself that I have that power to always be there, to have every situation in my control, there will be times when I won’t be able to protect her from the disappointment and heartache that will come from trusting someone who cannot be relied upon.
But before I drift off into a melancholy laced reverie, I have to remind myself that this is my interpretation of how my daughter may or may not feel when faced with disappointment and the deep sadness that comes with trusting someone, only to feel let down by them or worse, betrayed. My daughter has a very different outlook on life than me. She has proven to me repeatedly that my life experiences are not accurate lenses with which to view or predict her life. The beauty of being a mom is realizing my ideas about how my children will or won’t cope with the things thrown at them are not necessarily correct. I believe this is what older parents of children who are now adults refer to as “letting go”!
In the twelve-step rooms there’s a great deal of talk about the g-o-d word. It’s not a word that brings me any degree of solace, so I’ve learned to do what my friend Ibby calls a “work around”. I don’t do the g-word, but I have faith. Faith that if I am kind, generous and try my best to be of service, I will be better off than if I’m not. This thinking doesn’t ensure those I love will always be safe, but it helps me stay centered and present one day at a time. I can hear Richard’s voice in my head saying, “What? That’s it?” And my answer is to laugh and say, “Yup. That’s pretty much the extent of my wisdom.”