I am the Goose

goose

Allow me to build on my sentiment,

“I legit expect my kids to follow me following the goose”…

In my earliest year as a mother (age: 23), I remember turning my infant’s life over to the greater connected protection of the universe, The Big Love.

I sat, uneasy in the rocking chair, playing back the previous night’s episode of Law and Order, special victims unit in a post 9/11, post Columbine afternoon.

The curtains hung in the dusk-dusted nursery where a summer nap was being kept at bay. I was restless, contemplating these evils in humanity and how to shield her outside of my arms.

In this glimpse of fear, I began to wake and consider something new. Sunlight broke through the curtains, striking the diamond on my left ring finger and curiosity on how to live differently started to dance around the room like a fairy. Both sets of our eyes watched the chase of light I directed about with turns of my wrist.

“No,” I said to fear.

I did not want to “mother afraid”.

I did not want to “worry all the time”.

I did not want the pressure of “best” or the perceived stain of “worst”.

I did not want the responsibility of her story or her decisions. Or – somehow seemingly worse – I did not want her carrying the weight of my own, personal regret.

In between that afternoon, where I “turned her over” to good, (understanding as death is possible, life is possible) and the first time I watched her crawl in accord with her own curiosity away from where I sat under a park tree, the seed of trust I allowed to grow within turned my motherhood journey into a continual invitation to Ellen (and eventually her sister, Lucy) to follow my lead.

This trust evolved and my heart began to tumble down the hill of change.

I did not want to be an obvious American mother, repeatedly getting her toddler out of a minivan for errands – adorned in college mascot or MLB bird alike.

I did not want to be continually sold cleverly colored shoebox size shoeboxes for my shoes.

This evolution of self began shifting my experiences as – if I was about to do something just because I thought I should: I questioned it.

I chose differently.

I leaned into what I feared.

I practiced media literacy.

I prayed. I changed. I planted. I grew.

Rhianna enforced afternoons in the Jeep, combing back the long way towards home from the zoo. Pizza adorned fingernails washed up in the historic tub of an ABQ lavender farm, watching sharks in Denver… trying Turkish delight in Park City…

I took on my life; them incorporated.

Our stories are plentiful, meaningful and thick. The meaning of being their leader, their goose, is never lost on me. In and out of the car, into museums and onto the plane: they have followed me.

Unlike the goose (though their personal notice is at least consistent in advertising inconsistency and temperament), I offer, give and set expectations to and of my daughters.

To live without fear seems to still require managing a certain civilian “pay attention” mindset, all while gauging the fine traumatic line of projecting one’s own experience // being careful to avoid infusing too much of the state of the world into predictions of the future. 

Indeed. This is the paradox of being more than a “goose goose” or a Mother Goose; pecking rhyme-based rhythm and order.

Aha! See, to be an actual goose, living both into her future and ushering her goslings into their own, ballet slippers are worn making spaghetti while adult lessons yield for the child’s.

With a Pinterest board as lively as her child’s friendships and a dress that fits as accurately as her child’s pants, the mother’s quest stays aware of the child’s. Forever seizing teachable moments to promote the child’s own understanding of motivations, experience and truth.

For in this way, I suppose, the child may equally become a goose.

 

(PS: the original, straight forward version: https://frozenspaghetti.com/2019/08/04/the-original/)

May Current. My Tide of Wondering.

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Waiting for a flow waiting for a flow

(Three Days Later)

I wonder sometimes if I will always remember this season of my life. Mugs of coffee, walking Ranger in my North Webster neighborhood where there is both litter and progress on the streets, family and friends nearby.

I wonder if the feeling I have in my heart when I contemplate where I go to church, feel gratitude to who helps and prays for my family and scan my life for new paths I have to help and pray for others will stay or if the feeling (it feels like newness and curiosity mixed with patience and acknowledgement) will evolve into maybe some wise old woman type heart.

You know – like the kind of woman who knows how to cut and trim the herbs just right and what kind of Psalm to sing to her roses to keep them from getting brittle.

Is that a stretch?

I wonder, of all the friends in my active circle, who is the one with the next thing to teach me.

I wonder, of all the people I haven’t met yet but will meet in the future, who will validate the choices I am making now. In my near 37 years, there is always the validating stranger who comes in and says “yeah – that’s great – that’s like what they do in <name region of the world> to <name thing that I was also trying to get to>” and then they usually add something “you should read” or “you might like” or offer a deeper reason for said thing they are validating which helps me understand how a prayer was answered in my decision to do something.

The Pastor at AME Blackwell Church said “Don’t look for what you think the thing you asked God for looks like, look for the thing you asked God for – period.”

“Don’t look for what you think the thing you asked God for looks like, look for the thing you asked God for – period.”

Like the people that will come in and validate, there will be the storms that come in and expose me. My vulnerabilities, what is unhealthy about the things I do. I wonder when that next storm will be. And then I wonder and survey my life and see if there is any obvious place to reinforce, any obvious tool I need, any obvious gaps to close.

I wonder that about my emotional and spiritual life like I do about my house, my land, my motherhood.

I wonder how many times I will be afraid for the lives of my children and pray for a shield over them and how many times I will still – even after experiencing relief from this fear – I will be hit in the head with the practical wisdom of Proverbs and prayers of Psalms to remind me how much more power good has over evil. How my words matter. How my time matters. How the stories I tell my daughters matter. How the food I cook them matters. How the way I filter guilt and shame and speak in clear language matters. How my listening to them matters. How my hugs matter, my patience matters, my certainty and servant heart matter.

I saw the mint expanding today in its golden yellow pot (which I will likely have to move once it gets taller than the roses) and thought “I’m not going to move the pot yet”. This awareness of timing is something that has matured in my heart. The patience. The willingness to see how it goes but the proximity to be the right kind of proactive; there when the next step is ripe.

I offer all of this – a journal of today – in hopes and in prayer that we all recognize the seasons of our life, the way the day feels – and get some power from knowing it is all a part of the process.

XO, Erin