Young Child, Old Soul
Written by: Angie Noll
Yesterday in the car, I wondered out loud why Chloe didn't choose one of my mentors and role-models as her mother instead. The particular woman I had in mind is like an adult version of Chloe - hugely creative, permanently bare-footed, couldn't be bothered to brush an unruly mop of hair every day and loves unicorns.
Most importantly, though, my mentor lives her life not only being happy about who she is but fully embodying every weird and idiosyncratic quirk that she's been blessed with. I wish for Chloe to grow up feeling just as confident about her own unique self - including her love of unicorns and sparkles and her life-long desire to be able to fly.
I wish for Chloe to grow up feeling just as confident about her own unique self - including her love of unicorns and sparkles and her life-long desire to be able to fly.
I put the question to Chloe directly. Hugging her close I asked,
'Why did you choose me as your Mother?'
"Opposites attract Mom, that's why" Chloe reasoned.
Well. My warm fuzzy mood disappeared like mist in the sun. I felt a bit injured by this but didn't say anything. I mean, the opposite of freedom loving and creative and quirky, which pretty much sums up my role-model and also Chloe - is, what? Stifling, conformist and boring? Ouch! I certainly don't see myself that way... Chloe must have forgotten who taught her about living barefooted and believing in unicorns in the first place!
I mean, the opposite of freedom loving and creative and quirky, which pretty much sums up my mentor and also Chloe - is, what? Stifling, conformist and boring? Ouch! I certainly don't see myself that way... Chloe must have forgotten who taught her about living barefooted and believing in unicorns in the first place!
But then she says, "No, that's not it. I know why I chose you to be my Mom." She pauses and looks out the window at the Spring-time trees. "It's because you ground me."
Ah, bless her heart. She is only 11 years old, and every now and again, her Old Soul shines through.
"What do you mean by that?" I ask because the opportunity to glimpse even deeper into her Old Soul is irresistible, even if my ego is bruised.
"I mean, like when I'm rude to you, you remind me not to be and you don't allow it. Or when I get super angry, you stay there for me and remind me that I can't just fly off and disappear. You kind of pull me back to myself, if you know what I mean."
"Yes," I say, and while I'm still contemplating her wise words and thinking about how to take this magical conversation deeper, she transforms back to her 11-year old self, brushing a My Little Pony's hair with a sparkly pink plastic comb. "Look at Starling's hair now, Mom."
I glance at it and smile, grateful for the few minutes in the company of her Old Soul. It happens sometimes, out of the blue, so there's no preparing for it. We've had a gazillion conversations about love, Spirit, Angels, God, creativity and the challenges around simply being oneself, and they don't necessarily take place with her Old Soul.
But when those moments occur, I treasure them and am left feeling reassured that even though it doesn't always seem like she's listening or taking in the lessons I try to teach her, she is actually learning and processing and internalising everything.
So often I hear from parents that they seem to talk and talk and talk, but their kids don't get the message. I always remind them to look more carefully. We have to make it safe for our children's Spirit to shine through - especially if they have creative spirits because the world doesn't necessarily support the full expression of artistic personalities.
Usually when we least expect it - during an unexpected bonding conversation, or, more commonly, when our kids think we're not watching them - that's when we'll see the evidence of the fruits of our labour paying off - and there's no sweeter reward.
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