On this day set aside to honour "Mother's" let me tell you a story about you and me and your granddaughter Shelby.
"Hi Mom, I'm in a really bad space" so many things went through my mind in a flash. Was she pregnant? I was also impressed with her language because I understood the language of space. Yes, she is my daughter and we sometimes speak the same language. Shelby had been to a high school leadership camp on the weekend. How profound for her had it been? What did she want to reveal to me as a result of her experience at camp? Or had she lost a friend to death? In the half an hour since I had last seen her. All this went through my mind in the nano second that elapsed in this moment, what was really true?
Then she let it out, I forgot my bag of clothes on the bus. Now, that may seem small and insignificant and what you may not know dear reader is what the clothes represented.
The evening prior, Shelby and I made a trek to Mountain equipment co-op to purchase some "spandex" for her to row in. What fun we had! I watched her amazement and pride as she poured her young svelte body into the luscious hugging spandex Not, only did this clothing look great on her, it was performance gear for her beloved rowing sport. I could relate. It is important to be equipped with the proper gear. She looked amazing and the smile on her face told me she felt it. Ringing up at the cash had me paying down a hundred dollars easily, and I really felt her sense of gratitude. And her bubbly non-stop verbal thank-you's were classic Shelby!!
So, when she phoned the next day with this news my heart sank for her. In a heartbeat I knew her disappointment and her pain. I also felt her embarrassment and sense of stupidity for "forgetting" this very important bag. Not, once did I ask a painful "how could you ?" sort of question, or go to a preachy tone with "you know how much those clothes cost blah blah blah scenario.
I assured her they would probably show up at the lost and found at the bus depot. I hung up and sat down to journal and the solution came to me. I would simply replace the outfit. The other important thing about this day was it was the day they were going to be "on the water" and I knew how much that mattered to Shelby. By simply replacing the clothes this day, she would miss nothing. The clothes would either show up the next day or not. If they did great, I would return the extra pair, if not, I would still want to replace the outfit. She deserved so much more than what the lost clothes were costing her.
I felt smart, satisfied and really proud of my quick thinking and action. When I arrived at her High school to deliver the new package, by serendipity Shelby was right there in the front hall ready to receive. She was appreciative, grateful and bubbling with her enthusiasm and simple joy. As if somehow the new clothes had replaced her lost sense of self.
You have heard this story up until this part mom and what you remembered was the time I lost that very special leather coat when I was 15. You reminded me of your very same response. You had the solution when I was devastated and heartbroken.
"Just replace it!." And that is what you did.
Up until this point in our conversation I had no conscious memory of my lost clothes experience.
It was after we spoke that I was able to piece together the fabric of the stories. Yes, the story runs a very deep parallel. And what I know and what is so amazing and way more important than the details is the "mother's way" that I was able to emulate. Many reading this story may be judging and thinking this is a story of excess or a story about clothes.
The magic in this story is in the threads of time and the lessons that were laid down in the building of the child's self esteem and image. It is also in the patterns that were used to create a template for mothering. A template that I use so automatically, I sometimes forget it is there. This template of unconditional love.
So today is about honouring the patterns and design of whom you are as my mother and all the beautiful ways that you mothered me. Your gifts that I know if we explore will find stories that go back in time to you and Gan (your own mother)
Today dear Mom we all stand in front of the mirror and see the sartorial splendour of our work. I know that I am part of a design line that any girl child will be proud.
And it is beautiful.
Teresa O'Neill is the parent to four fabulous children. As a single mom she has made choices in her work life to align her value of family and work. Her decision to be a life coach allowed her to combine her obvious talents and skills with a career choice she is in love with. She has actually practiced Entrepreneurial skills that has allowed her to run her own business Coaching Connections.
She guides other Entrepreneurs in the practice of "A Better Way to Work" A coaching program that she delivers. It is absolutely possible to have room for it all! Success in business and in family life. In fact it is imperative to living fully. Her playful spirit and kind heart shows up whether she is coaching a business woman in her fifties or in the swimming pool with her eleven year old son.