As a parent, I do my best to allow my child their own freedom to choose and trust that a child is capable of making the best choices. But also as a person I must make my own choices. And whether I intend it or not, I will serve as a model for my child. Even if I free myself from making choices that control their lives, I am still making choices about our lives.
I might strive to fill my world (our world) with the richest options possible. I might stack the shelves with delicious fresh healthy food. I might line the walls with beautiful paintings, fill the air with joyful songs, and the kitchen with wonderful smells. I might choose to surround myself with other grounded, beautiful and caring people, each a window onto intriguing, lovely and enchanting worlds of their own. I might spend my own time grounded in each step, looking into eyes as a I speak, taking time to care for myself, the people and things around me. As the children grow older, others will vie to place options in their way. While I am in this place of power, what wonderful things can I bring to surround us?
My friend’s life graces me regularly. Her room is full of plants. A meal comes with a napkin, each piece of food colorful served beautifully on handmade plates. Chalk drawings and love notes in the hallway. Photo collages and paintings from her heart. A scarf in her hair and shoes that match, on her way to the park to play in the sun. It is a life created, a life full of little choices she has made. Her son plays joyfully in the middle of it all.