In a few of these, I was afraid of too much space and added graphics. The result was a non-uniform crowding of images, which is not pleasing to the eye.
In relationships, space is even more critical. “Caring” and “parenting” are not about invading space, but respecting our teenagers as their own people. Crowding and controlling them is not pleasing to them!
This is the exact opposite of how I was raised.
But I can choose to question that thinking and do better.
I volunteered tonight at my daughter’s symphony chair auditions. My task was to walk the children of the cello section from rehearsal to a small private room with a judge and back to rehearsal, one at a time. These kids’ ages ranged from 12 to 14 and there were eight of them.
They were nervous.
Six of them told me they didn’t practice enough. One of them told me he would fail.
I urged them to breathe deeply and think positively. But they weren’t having it!
Their pessimism surprised me. These kids attend rehearsal once a week, most coming from other cities 30 minutes away or more. They take private lessons.
It goes to show that two important factors necessary for confidence in performance: preparation and positivity.
Still, watching young kids work so hard to make beautiful music together warms the heart!
I love my friend’s reaction to her son when his audition was over.
He walked out of his audition, stretched his arms out and shouted, “I sucked!”
She said, “Well, let’s go out for ice cream then.”
I’ve mentioned a tense relationship between my daughter and me on this blog. It has gotten pretty distressing at times and when I decided to push my ego aside, I realized I had to surrender. Pestering was not working. I had reflected on my intention. Was my primary motive to help her be “successful” in life? Was hounding her to do homework and practice her violin most important? No. But that was what I was practicing.
I set my priorities clearly. First of all, she must know I love her unconditionally. Secondly, this is her life. I trust her with it. She knows what to do and if she doesn’t do it, she will have to face the consequences. That’s how she will grow. Throughout it all, I will love her, absolutely.
What I DO owe her is a happy mother. Every time I start to resort to my habit of nagging, I redirect my energies to what I want to do: plant lantana in the backyard (even in 100 degree heat), exercise, write, cook and so on.
Since I’ve put this practice in place, a magnificent event has occurred. We’ve become closer than ever. She wanted to get into shape. I took her to a fitness club. We signed her up for a four week membership (realizing there will be NO time for the gym once school starts). The club gave me a 2 week free pass. Organically…naturally…completely unplanned…I’ve become her trainer. We work out together and laugh and (sometimes) partake in junk food afterwards. There is ease and love where angst and friction once were. And if I ask her to do something, she does it. Most of the time. And that’s OK.
The intention came first. Space (a lot of it) came next. And then complete awareness and unconditional love. I’d say this works for all relationships.