"You're leaving again Mom. You're never here," said my 11 year-old David, as I was walking out the door to the March of Dimes benefit that my friend Jane was emceeing.
My hair was done, make-up on, clothing donned, but I asked anyway:
"Do you want me to stay David?"
"You won't Mom, so I won't ask."
"Are you sure?"
I got in the car, immediately called my husband who supplied characteristically good advice, "Trust your gut", I turned the car around.
Walking in the door, changing into my pajamas, watching TV together, having David know that I'd put him first, and MY knowing that I'd put him first....
Lovely Jane understood.
Several weeks later, one of my mentors encouraged me to bring my children along as I 'dare to dream' and 'know my neighbor', or as my children call it 'dare to know your neighbor.' Because he gave me several pieces of advice, many of which I quite preferred, 'bring your children along', was noted, and forgotten.
Until one of my girlfriends gave me the same advice.
Three times in three weeks. Three different people.
Is it possible that even as I attend to my children's emotional well-being at a basic level (probably better than basic), I'm excluding them from a large piece of myself, and in effect, leaving them on the doorstep of my dreams?
Courtesy of Tomaz Levstek via iStockphoto
Were I to include them more -- what would happen?
It had crossed my mind to take David to the March of Dimes benefit. Too young. He won't want to go. Too much work for me. And 11 is probably too young. But next year?
When I asked him if he would come to something like this, his answer was yes.
By taking David, we'd spend time together, I'd get to see him in a tuxedo AND we could support both Jane and The March of Dimes.
Opening the door to our children's dreams, even as we open the door to ours.
An elegant, both/and solution; Psyche would no doubt be approve.
As we involve and engage our children in the dreaming process, they will definitely learn from us (some good, some bad), but what can we learn from them? How do their strengths help us?
What can we learn from Susan Minot's Evening about including our children?
When have you involved your children in your dream, whether planning or executing, or both?