What feels like a lifetime ago, Austin was the land of unflagging sun.
During our first stint living here I rarely checked the weather forecast as it was always the same.
Sunny. Sunny. Hot. Hot.
(To that end I donated my rain boots when we left the Bay Area. I’m a moron that way.)
It seems I’ve either become Rain-Elsa (a thought which intrigues me) or the climate of the ATX has shifted the past few years.
Regardless, I can count on one finger the number of recent nights I’ve not been woken by a thunder-terrified nine year old and her not-at-all-terrified-but-always-up-for-adventure Doodle sidekick.
During the storms (usually happening during my worst hours of midnight or 1am) I’m usually pretty good about rising to the occasion and making myself MamaProud.
Even though roused from a sound sleep—I’m understanding and patient.
I can recall clearly enough *my* childhood fear of thunder to be able to mumble comforting words and roll over to make room for my two companions.
yep. this is how he sleeps, too. hashtag: bedhog.
I’m less benevolent, however, come morning.
I’m less benevolent come morning until I remind myself of the drawing she once bestowed upon me after a particularly scary thunder & hail storm:
Her choice of words struck me that morning and have remained firmly in my mind since.
You are my safe person.
After I read her note I couldn’t stop thinking about the definition of the word safe (protected from danger and harm) and what an honor it was she chose that word to describe me.
What high praise it was from a child that she viewed me as the person in her life who could provide shelter from the storm.
Her choice of words sparked in me a wondering about the very idea of a safe person and when we, as grown ups, lose that in our lives?
I wondered if many would say (yep. Way over-wondering this entire thing, but that’s the nature of blogging yes?) we shed our feelings of having a safe person once we realize the world is chaotic and control is an illusion.
Last weekend I was running errands when, again, it began to storm.
I returned home and the Child greeted me at the door in a panic.
Where were you? I needed you!
I explained I didn’t hurry back since she was home with her Doodle and her Dad.
She again employed the phrase I’d pondered since our last sleepless night:
But you’re my safe person.
I was flattered. I was overwhelmed. I wondered if it was my (fingerquote) duty (unFQ) as mother to teach her to find safety in herself?
Here is where I now look to you, in the truest sense of old school horizontal blogging, and am curious what you think.
In the end is this what life is all about?
- Is our job as parent/child-mentor to teach children to find shelter from life’s (literal & metaphorical) storms within themselves?
- Is it our task to facilitate them growing become their own safe person? Is this the essence of roots & wings parenting?
- Do we grown-up types still have safe people?