My children have a special advantage because my husband and I get it. We understand karma, we believe and closely abide by the rules of the universe; under different headings, but the same end result. This makes for well-rounded, non-violent, socially intelligent children also known as "victims". My daughter, because she was born during the height of my social experimentation-even, more. Yael (pronounced Yah'ell) was nursed until she self-weaned at 3.5 years old, she is naturally intuitive and completely secure and at one with herself. She is the type of child that everyone comments on. I cried at a parent-teacher conference when the teacher stood up behind her hardwood desk, grabbed by hand in both of hers and praised the job I've done "raising such a conscientious, good person". You can see why I might just be a tad livid when my prized contribution to the universe appears at the front door sopping wet and sobbing after she was submerged in the puddle of an irrigation project in our local green belt at the hands of her "former friend".
For the past 120 days, I have been stridently moving toward an ultimate goal of Ahimsa. For years, I have advocated against spanking and more recently war, but many of my subconscious thoughts were in contradiction to this kind of peaceable existence. I've been working hard at being a better, more balanced, loving person inside and out. I needn't tell you that I resort to my primitive animal kingdom instincts when someone...anyone, fucks with my family.
When Yael came in, one look at her and I knew just who it was. She'd participated in some random act of cruelty last year around this time and more recently had lied about something trivial but enough for me to have the friendship selection discussion with Yael just this past weekend. Perhaps, it was Yael's decision to separate herself that led to this, I'm not sure but I do know that it took everything and I mean everything in me to not go outside...(Ok, well I did go outside). But, what I wanted to do was snatch her up and shake all of the high fructose corn syrup filled Otter Pops right out of her emaciated, ugly little ass. And, I would have if she had been within reach when I emerged. (And had Joe not called me "Cheryl Part II" as I headed for the door) Cheryl, my mother at 54 years old, this woman will still engage in an all out, "Go-get-your-motha'-and-I'll-kick-her-ass- too" fest. It is instinctive, the intrinsic nature of the species. "See the cute little bear cubs? Nice, now go on about your business 'cause their mother will slap your whole damn head off!" Got it? Okay, good.
I've always known, no matter how oddly she treats me that my mother has my back and I've carried that onto my own children but in an adjusted light. I love my children infinitely, I fervently (ad nauseam, just ask Puberty Man) preach compassion, respect and self-respect. In most cases they subconsciously practice avoidance where dangerous and/or parasitic social situations are an element. But, like everyone else, they will have their moments. The split second decision NOT to react, although gravely unsettling for the confrontational aggressor in me will pay off. Yael does not understand now, but she will. She will undeniably revere and respect the laws of the universe just as the rest of us here at home do. We've mustered up a little more love in our house today. Similar to the way you'd gather around someone who'd been attacked by a virus, cancer or any other draining encounter.
I guess the painful part as a mother is that Yael seemed to place more emphasis on the lost friendship resulting from the incident rather than the incident itself. There really is no easy way to express to her at 8 years old, that it is the other child that should be mourning a great loss. There is no easy way to squelch the pain in the pit of my stomach knowing that this is just one of many in a series of hurt feelings, abuse and rejection she will face in a lifetime. Cheryl had the best of intentions but it just isn't feasible to fight the world, and it isn't just. It is a battle no one wins when you really examine the outcome.
There was a time in my life when the closest person to me threw me in a proverbial puddle and rejected me. I fought tooth and nail (What is the history of the meaning behind that expression, do you know?). I formed every weapon of defense and destruction possible and the situation went on to grow bigger and uglier. It metastasized like a cancer and literally consumed me. I spent so much time and energy fighting that I left little time for love; self-love or any other love. I attempted suicide that year but I succeeded at something far greater. In one of my prescription drug filled hazes I stumbled into a card shop and bought a post card that reads:
"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” ~Mother Teresa
I'm a natural cynic, so believe me when I say this is the only way to go. Think about it, when someone pisses you off, disappoints you rejects you, etc. We engage in this kind of eye for an eye warfare that leaves us all blind (read your Gandhi people). When you are true to yourself and either perfectly love the opposition in all of their imperfection or love yourself enough to not subject yourself to an abusive or otherwise unhealthy relationship, things seem to just work themselves out. If you've ever had a break-up and said, "Oh great, now that I'm single nobody wants me". It's because your aura is saying, "Look at me, I suck, I'm a leper, etc". But when you put your size 2T jeans on and a little "war-paint" (Iva, thanks! I love you) and do that little, "Go me" dance in the mirror-it's a miraculous transformation! Trust me, it's not the jeans, (Even if they are Gap low-rise boot-cut stretch-don't be fooled) it is the LOVE. I am truly convinced that love, beer and breast milk are the cure for everything. Stephanie says it is water...I don't know I gotta challenge her on that one.
Yael spent the day watching DisneyChannel with Joe in an old pair of my 3" Enzo Angiolini pumps. She's about to have cake and ice cream with Jordan and tomorrow morning she'll join me for yoga. We're gonna love her through this time and all of the others. You can't fight fire with fire but, breathe easy fire does eventually consume itself... always.
I felt cathartic writing this, it will be one of the entries in Yael's Red Book-a collection of poems, quotes and stories I've been compiling for presentation at her Menses Celebration. Now, go kiss your kids, call your mom, push your chair away from your desk and do a quick "Go me" dance, the tough times (and stupidity, hopefully) won't last long.