Updated: Apr 7, 2022
I have two boys. One is turning 10 in a few weeks. The other is 6.
In the last few months, I'd say they've both been experiencing a lot.
My older one is currently experiencing the last year of single-digit life. One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed about him is the effects of external pressure. Be it academic, social, or even biological stress, he’s experiencing them all. The once happy child of mine who played sports from his heart, now cares about his performances in the eyes of others. The once foodie who smiled at the delicious fragrance cooking in the kitchen, now cares about how short he is or how heavy he feels. The once carefree child of mine who loved learning all subjects at school, now hates his test scores and doubts his abilities. As a mother, it's been hard to watch but I'm accepting these changes, as we’ve all been there. This is growing pain. This is a self-learning process. But then because I am his mother, it hurts extra when you watch him come home from those really bad days.
My younger one, on the contrary, is experiencing his last year of kindergarten life. One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed about him recently is a natural shift into his very own identity. Be it academic, social, or even biological, he is experiencing them all as well. The once clumsy kid-of-mine now has the honor to be first runner in his school relay of 31 graduating kids. The once little brother of Bradlee now gets bombarded by all the younger kids after school, calling out his name. The once meaty baby of mine has now grown into a tall, handsome boy who is more than ready to tackle a new elementary school. The once incoherent mumbling baby can now read English and Chinese books all by himself, untethered while reading out loud to his whole class. As his mother, I've been mesmerized by his growth and so proud to watch him step into his own powers. Watching him finally shine makes my heart flutter and excited for what’s to come.
The contrasting scenarios for my boys right now is so interesting in its dichotomy. But from what I know, such is life! What this information relays to me is not that one is better than the other because they’re both equally my babies. What this information teaches me is that every moment is ever-changing. The good is not only good, and the bad is not only bad. The good teaches us appreciation and awe, while the bad teaches us growth and struggle. One minute they are this way, and next minute they are completely different beings.
What this information relays to me is not that one is better than the other because they’re both equally my babies. What this information teaches me is that every moment is ever-changing.
For my elder, as he shared his struggles with me, I felt a strong sense of appreciation and honor in being his mother. I felt honored to hold space for his difficult moments. However he wanted to share his pain, I absorbed it with my whole heart. I got to see him for who he is right now and all that he is experiencing. As he released his pain, there was a sense of letting go. While much of it still lingered, we worked at the validity of his struggles and how we can move forward from them. I hint at how grateful it is that we have these “uncomfortable” indications of what doesn’t feel right so that we can move towards what feels good to us! While I relayed this message to him, it dawned upon me that his lesson is as much his as it is mine. As I flashed back on all the life mistakes I’ve made and however bad I felt in those moments, I knew that without these lessons, I would've never moved away from them and found what felt true and aligned. In that moment, I felt ever so grateful to have shared this shadow work with my changing boy.
For my younger, as I watched him shine in his power at his school sports day, I felt a sense of appreciation and honor in being his mother to witness him in his shining moments. I saw him at his best, playing into his potential, comfortable in his own skin, aligned with the essence of who he is right now. He felt sure, confident, light, with an aura of positive energy exuding out of his core. As his mother, I felt so happy for him. This type of moment can seem so rare and precious for all of us. How beautiful it was for him to experience it and share it with us all. As a family, we shared in his triumphs and his growth, in awe at how much he has come along. It reminded me of the time and space we all need to settle into ourselves. And when our moment comes, it comes in all its glory.
For both my boys, where they are in this moment is temporary. Every moment is fleeting. But what we can do is be here with them to realize what "all of it" is trying to teach us. We don’t need to stay with it too long that it becomes a haunting past of both good or bad, but be with it as it grows and changes.
I thank my boys for making me a mother and being my greatest teachers in life. From the moment they presented themselves as lines on my pregnancy tests, my life has kept changing for the better, even in the worst of parenting moments. I guess that’s another example of what I mean by spiritual matrescence. You two continue to shine the way for my spiritual ascension. Bless you both for every experience you have and will go through, good and/or bad.
For what I receive as a mother are precious, precious pearls of life wisdoms.
Love, love and only more love both your ways.