I've had a big shake up in the last few weeks, a reminder of how much things do change. I spent most of Easter on my own with Sam which I found very difficult. It has made me face up to the changes that continue to happen in the way my family works, as a result of the wider ripples caused by Mum dying.I crashed and feel like I have been in mourning again. Now though, Sam and I are free to celebrate and make our own meaning for these times (Buddha is now inextricably part of Easter, along with the Bunny). Family are around but in different ways. Mums are glue. My family came unstuck but we are gradually finding new ways of being.
Whenever the past pops up I find myself in the dangerous position of comparing myself to what could or, part of me feels, should have been. I end up feeling like a failure and questioning my abilities as a parent. I need to let go of this once and for all.
I've been weighing all of this up in the last week, which really has been an emotional rollercoaster.
But one thing is for sure. I am a good mum to Sam, not perfect but doing my best. I don't have a big plan for Sam apart from to teach him how to look after himself, care about himself and be tolerant, loving and compassionate towards others. I want him to have the confidence to be himself and have a go at whatever it is he is interested in, in the knowledge that I will be there to encourage him and support him.
He is happy, healthy, funny, polite, considerate, articulate and affectionate. To be sure he is also a mischievous two-year-old who will sometimes push my boundaries til I pull my hair out but that is normal.
As I head towards 40 I realise that more than anything else I crave peace and contentment. I seem to get that by being with my son and my friends, by writing poetry and by gardening.
I am in a mess with studying and have a mountain of work to do. I am not sure I will get it all done but I am now about to get on with it.
I have been re-reading passages of 'Buddhism for Mothers' and it is infintely quoteable. Here's one:
"Real love provides space and freedom for our friends and family to be themselves."
That is what I am trying to do for Sam - provide him with the space to find out who he is and let him enjoy being himself.
And I need to do it for me as well.
Love, Love, Love xxx