The real work of parenting.
I recently read a post on the Well blog of the New York Times that was published a few months ago, A Firm Grasp on Comfort, about transitional objects; the blankies, lovies, babies, and bears that our little ones cling to for comfort.
My son, up to this point, has not had an exclusive transitional object, which I’ve always been a bit curious about and is probably why the article caught my attention in the first place. But it was the very last sentence in the post that really resonated with me:
“…learning to negotiate, and even enjoy, partings and reunions is part of the whole assignment, for parents and for children.”
I love this. It’s so completely true isn’t? Our job as humans is to learn to negotiate partings and reunions, and as parents to the littlest humans, we must serve as guide and example.
Life is nothing but a series of hellos and goodbyes, from the first big hello at the birth of our child to the big goodbye when one of us (hopefully us) leaves this state of being. We’re off to work and school and back together again at dinner. We go our separate ways into dreamland and reunite once more when we wake in the morning. Animals are adopted into the family and are eventually buried in the backyard. Friends are made and friends move away.
We cannot avoid partings and reunions any more than we can avoid breathing. Learning to enjoy our times together, as well as our times apart, and knowing that neither our togetherness nor our separateness will last forever is the real trick.
The thing about hello and goodbye is that they are a pair. If we say hello, we can be sure that we will at some point have to say goodbye. But the reverse is also true. If we’ve said goodbye to someone, eventually, we will get to say hello once again. And in the meantime, the love that exists between us is omnipresent.
About V.K. Harber
V.K. Harber is a yogi, writer and mother of one. She is the co-founder and former managing director of Samdhana-Karana Yoga: A Healing Arts Center in Tacoma, WA, a non-profit yoga studio.She currently resides in Seoul, South Korea where she works as a yoga teacher and post-partum doula. (www.vkharber.com) She is also a contributing writer at World Moms Blog and can be found on twitter @VKHarberRYT.