When was the last time you found delight in your child?
I love this line from Toni Morrison, "When a child walks in the room, your child or anybody else's child, do your eyes light up? That's what they're looking for."
We had some friends over for dinner - in fact, these friends weren't really interested in catching up with John and me. They couldn't wait to spend time with Avery and Brooklyn. :)
As I watched Avery play and interact with Uncle Dustin - I could sense the joy, the delight, the wonder - it was palpable from both of them.
Avery's belly laughs and giggles sent ripples of happiness in the air. I could sense he felt so seen, so heard, and so loved by Uncle Dustin.
They were making up games, laughing with one another in a way that I haven't heard Avery laugh in a long time!... It was incredible to watch unadulterated exuberance and cheer oozing out of their exchange.
Avery felt Uncle Dustin's eyes light up around him. And in return, he had space to "be", and show-up in his fullness.
....and there was a part of myself that I had to confront.
As I was witnessing this, I realised in the last few weeks, I took feeling "delighted" in Avery for granted. It wasn't anywhere to be found over here with me - not to the extent that I wanted.
Sadness and disappointment washed over me.
Now, I'm clear that you can't be everything to another human being. I'm also clear that my commitment to parenting is one where our children felt seen, heard, and understood.
Watching Avery - it occurred to me that in the last few weeks, he couldn't show up in his wholeness around me - and I wasn't aware that I wasn't creating that space. I wasn't "being" my commitment.
This isn't to judge or criticise myself - however, it was a moment of recalibration—a moment of awareness.
I could also pinpoint how the delight started slipping away. It was when things were going "well" in our life... Crazy right?!
I'm not going to go deep into the inner-workings of our sub-conscious mind and how we self-sabotage ourselves (and that's what was happening for me!).
AND what I wanted to highlight was how important it is to pause and reflect - so that in becoming the observer of ourselves, we can break unconscious patterns.
The experience of "delight" in our children is a beautiful guidepost. A beautiful measure that we can turn to, to gather more insights into how we are showing up and the workings of our unconscious mind.
This is one of the many ways that our children are our teachers. They are mirrors reflecting something for us to see, to uncover, to confront.
The reflection is always an opportunity of learning, of growth, of healing.
In my case, and this instance, it was one of "healing". I could see how a particular belief I had was playing out, and a program of unconscious self-sabotage was at play.
Here's what I also know about "delight". When we struggle to find "delight" in our children - it's time to dig deep...
....Because failing to experience "delight" in our little ones, and being able to marvel at these beings in all their glory, is like being at the peak of a beautiful mountain or being a witness to a sunrise and failing to experience the awe and wonder of life.
I want to emphasise, this isn't about perfection. In fact, when we recognise that there is a block to "delight" - that's a win. That's a moment where we are consciously choosing to have dominion over our lives - and we are making the unconscious, conscious.
And this is how parenting becomes transformative and healing.
.... So... if you're challenged in finding "delight" in your little ones, what's the opportunity here? How can you see this through the lens of love? What is this moment teaching you?
And if "delight" is oozing in abundance - amazing! Take time to acknowledge yourself and anchor that magic in!