Parenting Lesson #1: You are the student

We learn from every one we love and who loves us; teachers come in many forms. However, in this moment I am acknowledging my babies. My fantastic four. As a collective, your are light, you are love, you are resilient. You are a walking definition of aloha because you are brave in the face of change and the unknown. You risk, are vulnerable, and remain funny AF every step of the way.

Yes, you are also dark and rage-filled at times. You can all make me crazy in various ways, and you when you loose your way the struggle to find find home can cut deeply into the people who are closest to you. But you are also amazing humans showing deep vision, compassion, and a commitment to truth despite the momentary chaos it can often cause. You risk and you learn. You heal and you grow. You ask for a lot but you also share with abandon.

How do I know this? And why should you take your mother’s word? Because of YOUR TRACK RECORD. YOUR ABILITY TO KEEP SHOWING UP at the table when earth-shattering, transformational change is underway.  All of you not only listen to the “why” you ask; you are inquisitive and compassionate beyond your years. The proof is on your ability to keep walking THROUGH the challenges… and that includes the challenges that emerge from me and my own fears. All of you continue to lean-in despite my behaviors that are birthed from self-doubt and momentary brokenness; you get that I am human as much as I am your mom. You stand for me even when I am feeling like I can’t stand for myself. You also stick around for the subsequent dance I do when I am trying to glue the pieces back together and find the new normal. 

As we have all taken the path of learning to be better, and learning how we learn––we have all gained tools to help us heal. For me, however, one of the greatest gifts was remembering the power of the small; the power of the ordinary moments that breathe light into darkness. When we are together in peace and joy our interconnection is strengthened in ways that grand gestures and resume worthy achievements cannot match. I have only come to realize recently, how much distance I had put between us through by striving for the silver bullet. Sure it was all in the name of family but it really made my world more controllable. Easier? Simpler? A self driven false narrative. A lie.

At this point, I have gotten pretty good at forgiving myself so this isn’t a pity party or a martyr session or a mother’s confessional. It is just a point of deep reflection and recognition. More importantly, I have gotten better at identifying what I need to forgive—in others and in myself. And this personal progress is from practicing being a human and a mom to you four amazing human beings. You guys are magic. You also help me see my own superpowers and that is no small feat.

So to my MAGIC MAKERS I say aloha. I love you, I support you, and I am more committed than ever to learning from and listening to your wisdom. Send it in a letter. Tell me point blank. Manifest it through silliness. Whatever the package I will open it. And I hope I get to keep practicing my teaching skills in ways where you listen and shine and grow. When one of us heals we all heal and you have helped to heal me. Mahalo nūnui my loves. ~ Mom

Naiʻa Lewis