On Mothering

Today I watched as my teen daughter walked away from me, towards the taking of a college entrance exam.  Prior to her departing, I said, “Do you remember where you are to go?”  I went over the instructions one more time, assuring her that this was something that she was prepared to do.  Her eyes got wide as I gently smiled and said, “You can do this.  I’ll be here when you get done.”  As she walked away with the appearance of confidence, I closed my eyes and saw before me the same girl, the same feelings, and the same conversation that happened years before as she took those steps towards her kindergarten classroom.  I was just as proud of her brave steps then, as I was at the college.

My daughter has been a great teacher to me.  I have learned that I am not here to guide her, I am here to keep the world from getting in the way of her leading and discovering herself.  I am here to not ruin, stifle, hurt, demean or undermine who she is.  I am here to be a guardian of her soul and her smile. 

While this often involves an outward focus - as the world supplies many opportunities for her to explore who she is through not-so-positive people and events - the most challenging forces to overcome were within me.  My daughter and I are not alike in many ways including our temperament and our sensitivity.  My daughter is not me. 

The guidance that she needed was not natural to me.  It required work and deliberate thought on my part.  She demanded responses from me, not reactions.  She was an instant barometer to unbalances in compassion, love, and gentleness.  I thank her greatly for holding up the mirror to me. 

Sometimes my mothering role required me to take leaps, but most often it required me to slow down to her pace, to her desire to absorb, to take things in and to process.  Her Montessori teacher nailed it long-ago, “There is time, and then there is


time… don’t confuse the two.”  But somehow this girl who breathes in life at her own pace, is striding towards early admission college classes as a rising high-school junior.  At some point, through years of mindful parenting, the slow-motion pace was released and she charged forward in beautiful confidence.  And once again, it’s my job to get out of the way as I support, nurture, love, and spread wisdom to her as she journeys.

As I opened the car door to welcome her back from the exam, she looked at me beaming with light, exclaiming, “I did it!”  And, in keeping with celebratory tradition, we went for ice cream.  A job well done… for both of us.


Mindful mom, thinker, and author, Ellen Kellner, guides parents through The Pro-Child Way® of nurturing their child’s spirit through her intuition, discernment, and experience.  Her book, The Pro-Child Way: Parenting with an Ex is available on Amazon.com

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