Monday, February 20, 2006

A Parent's Job Description

Gallup, New Mexico

I have just dropped my daughter off with her mother and watched their car turn out of the Denny’s parking lot. I sit in the car for a few moments feeling the gathering emptiness before I turn the ignition and shift into gear for my long drive back to Santa Fe.

That particular emptiness provokes the same questioning it always does: What is my life about? Am I doing the right thing with my life? With my daughter?

After I sang my daughter to sleep last night, I lay next to her and cursed the heavens for ripping her family apart.

It’s been 18 months since the threads that held us together in one home and one town dissolved, yet the rawness still lives on in moments — for each of us.

Like all parents, I want ease for my child. I don’t want her to feel pain. I don’t want her to suffer. I want her to know nothing but the joyful, loving embrace of a life without struggle.

Yet even as we believe that to be an integral part of our job description, it’s not even in the addendum to the appendix to the coda.

My job is to love. My job is to provide the physical security and emotional sustenance that will buttress my daughter against all the things I want to protect her from. My job is be present in all the ways that have deepest meaning.

Even as I curse the broken family, I know it is what each of us called in for ourselves and for the highest good of all of us.

Even as I question whether I’m doing the best for her as a father, I know that the best I can do for her is to model a life lived at the highest possible vibration.

Even as I wonder whether the life I live is in her highest good, I know there is only one highest good. It is not possible for me to follow my highest good and not have it be hers as well.

It’s not my job to fix things or make them easier, even as I long to. My job now and in the future is to honor her choices — from whatever level of consciousness they emerge — and to be as present for her as possible in the living of those choices.

My job is to model the highest choices I can and to surrender the rest to Spirit.

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