This morning, I gently woke Aisha up — her request: she enjoys a quiet time in the morning before her sisters wake —and as she turned to embrace me, she whispered into my ear, “I love you, Lauren.”

And I was overwhelmed with gratitude for all that I’ve gained in parenting — all the loving, all the learning, all the lessons. For parenting is an honour, a privilege, a responsibility and a sacred challenge.

The honour is bestowed upon us when we are chosen to initiate another person into our way of life. Why us? Why this child? Why now? Why here? We trust it is for the best. But who does the selecting? The bonding of two lives together like this? — God, the unborn soul, the universal consciousness, evolutionary forces, the source of being? Aren’t they all One when the effect is the same?

The privilege is ours because we get to witness the detailed, behind-the-scenes formation of a unique character. The privilege is ours because we are motivated to share the best of ourselves as an influence in her development. The privilege is ours because if we fail to hold a safe space for this being, we will forfeit degrees of intimacy and connection.

And oh, what a responsibility this job is! Parenting is a delicate balance of energy — nutrition, rest, accomplishments, self-love and peace — for ourselves as well our children. We tend to the mundane tasks that sustain our lifestyle while pursuing an emotional connection with complex, changing lives. If we pay close attention, we can marvel at the growth that occurs daily.

From the moment the baby is born (and often well before then), the parent is thinking for the child. “What does she need? How can I serve her? What will she desire in the future?”

Our sacred quest as parents is to wholly release the child to her individuality by allowing her to think for herself. We must grow to a place where we can completely release our own preferences for her presentation, her conduct, her interests, her lessons. Only then will the young person be free to express herself fully.

We are honoured and privileged to witness the transformation from the restrictive cocoon of the womb into a free-flying beauty. When our children choose to stretch their wings, we hold ourselves present to lovingly release them to their own journeys.

Delaney in the yoga swing, with Chilli, March 2016

But this is the greatest challenge: we must first transform ourselves — liberate ourselves from the conditioning that we’ve received. Seek our own metamorphosis into a free being. Practice self-compassion, self-questioning and vulnerability. Trust. Allow our own conscious awakening.

Be the change.

Bumper stickers that say
Free bumper stickers are now available to anyone who wants one.

Yes! I am feeling like I’m in a good place to start posting out the Be the change you wish to see in your children stickers again. I became discouraged when I lost my system stored in my stolen computer in late 2014.

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Leave a comment requesting one, include your email in the form field (not in the comments section), and I’ll write to you and chase your postal address to send it out.

Be the change you wish to see in your children.