Raising children is a magical experience of unfolding, full of surprises. As parents we put so much energy and effort into providing our kids with fertile ground for their development. Loving, encouraging and appreciating them, teaching them life skills, setting boundaries, modeling how to operate in this wild world, and inspiring them to come into their own, is a complex dance of trying to read between the lines to anticipate who they are meant to become, all the while working from our own expectations and hopes (and trying not to let those take over).
Our children come into this world with their own potentialities, their own natural knacks and tendencies, their own likes and dislikes, their own particular personalities. But then they need our input, our guidance, our feedback, to navigate what they have been given within a complex world full of possibilities and pitfalls, steering them while loosening the reins gradually as they grow older.
It’s almost like a most precious present, packaged in many layers of giftwrap, that parents and children are unpacking together, or peeling an onion one layer at a time, to discover what’s concealed underneath it all. Mind you, the unwrapping continuous until the day we die. I am still peeling my own onion, still discovering more of who I want to be, still working towards my full potential.