I love your books and teachings. I have used your work to shift focus in recent months. My thoughts on this post and especially the quote you mention at the end:
“Sometimes, minimizing property (and obligations) means a dream must die. But this is not always a bad thing. Sometimes it takes to give up the person we wanted to be in order to fully appreciate the person we can actually become. "
I will need to move soon, and the prospect of clearing some parts of my life has become a practice of grieving. It's not about the "stuff". It's about giving up the idea of who I wanted to become, who I had always imagined to be. But since life does not always cooperate with one's dreams, I will have to clear my own visions and expectations of who I was, am and become.
I will never be the kind of mom I wanted to be, because my kids don't need that mom, they need me. My children are amazing, dynamic and miraculous creatures. They are not the ones I had imagined they would be in my naive parenting day. My dreams of being the house in the neighborhood that all kids come to, bake cakes, make art, write music, have a community of friendship between the parents of my children's friends …
It will not happen. Having a child with special needs as a single parent dictates that I spend more time in waiting rooms than at playgrounds. I spend more time cleaning clutter than I can spend doing them in a creative movement of artistic endeavors with my children. I spend more time calming hypersensitive ears and intervening with over-stimulated soils than doing music and dancing with joy. I spend more energy monitoring and teaching some of the simplest tasks for self-care than I spend practicing and providing my own self-care. Because that's the one my kids need me to be.
I will never be the professional I imagined to be. I will not present at conferences and lectures on the unique blend of my profession, I will not write any journal articles on my research and innovative techniques for care and primary intervention. I spend my time booking time and pushing my children to them rather than meeting clients. I spend more time practicing medicine than teaching it as a professional. I spend more time managing my children through a daily routine than I can spend consulting clients to educate them about ritual and routine. Because that's the one my kids need me to be.
I will never be the daughter I wanted to be, because my parents also had a preconceived notion of what parenthood should consist of, how children should behave, and how they expect to be treated and involved in grandparents. I spend more time explaining and educating than I celebrate. I spend more money on doctors and therapists than I do on Father's Day cards, birthday presents and college or pension funds. I spend more time explaining why we are always late or why we can't do it than I go to family events, as family events are usually over-simulated and overwhelming for my children. I spend more time wanting help and free time than I give my parents the support and attention they deserve to wake me up. Because that's the one my kids need me to be.
I will not be the wife or partner I wanted to be. It actually requires having a partner, someone to lean on, to trust, to be a consistent force in my life. But I spend more time attending IEP meetings than when I go on dates. I spend more time talking about relationship struggles than I engage in them. I spend more time teaching social skills than practicing them. Because it's like my kids need me to be.
I will never be the member of the community I wanted to be. I spend more time getting distributions of help than I give them to others. I spend more time attending school meetings, therapies and coordinating treatment teams than I ever had to spend as a room mom, volunteer or board member. I spend more energy promoting a community in which my children can participate than contributing to the supply of community needs. Because it's like my kids need me to be.
So all these "stuff" that I kept from school and from previous days in professional practice, it's time for a lot of it. My books, toys and games that sit and collect dust and tubes in my basement because they are no longer age appropriate for my children, it's time for a lot of that. All the clothes I was wearing "just in case" I needed to look or dress like a professional, it's time for a lot of that. Because that's the one my kids need me to be.
It's time to let go of who I thought I could be and would be, and it's time for me to embrace who I am, where I am and who I become. It's time to sacrifice some old dreams to make room for new, realistically achievable dreams. It is time for me to accept that I will never be the one my father wanted me to be, I will never be able to give my mother what she gave me, and that my children are just perfect to be an inspiration to become the best I can be.
Because it's like my kids need me to be.