Most people think that we choose our children, when and how they will journey with us in our lives. On the contrary, it is they who choose us. Yes, you read that right. If you believe that we are spiritual beings, much more than our physical bodies in our earthly existence, then you will understand this concept. I learned it from my mentors at my son's Waldorf Schools here in the Philippines (he has been to 3 different ones to date!).
To give you a fresh perspective of where I am coming from, here is an excerpt from the book by Sharifa Oppenheimer which I highly recommend for all parents. (Prepare some tissue, I always get weepy reading this!)
By Susan BruckSong:The stars are watching when for a birth,A little child comes down to earth.Her angel leads her both day and night,To fill her heart with love and light.
Once, not so very long ago, way up in the heavens, there lived a star child. She lived there with the other star children, who were her friends, and together they would visit the sun, the moon and the planets. She had a special angel who watched over her always. She was very happy up there in the stars. One night, as she was sitting all snuggled up with her angel and they were looking out at the thousands of sparkling stars, the star child saw something that she had not seen before. It was a planet, and it was blue and green and most lovely to behold.
“What is that place?” she asked her angel.
“That is the planet earth,” the angel replied. “Come, I will show you.”
And together they went to visit the earth. When they got there, they saw great oceans and mountains. They saw forests and winding rivers. They saw birds flying in the sky and animals walking on the face of the earth. The earth was so beautiful. There were flowers blooming everywhere, and the baby birds were hatching out of their eggs while their mothers and fathers sang joyous songs. They saw many children running and laughing in the meadows, splashing in puddles and gathering dandelions and violets that they put in each others’ hair.
The star child and the angel continued their journey and soon they came to a large city next to a big lake. Here there were many people working and playing. Among them the star child saw a kind man and a loving woman, and she felt something stir within her.
“I would like to come here,” said the star child.
“And so you shall,” said the angel, “But first you must rest. While you rest, I will weave you a garment, for when you leave here, you must leave your heavenly garments behind.”
Song: Sleep my little star child, Sleep the long night through, While you sleep I will weave a Garment of light for you.
And so the child slept for many days and weeks and months. When she woke up, the angel said, “Now it is time. Put on the garment I have made for you.”The child put the garment on. The angel led her to a bridge made of all the colors of the rainbow.
The angel said, “Take courage.”And the child walked across the bridge.
Song: In heaven shines a golden star,
An angel brought me from afar,From heaven high unto the earth,And brought me to my house of birth.
And soon the child saw once more the kind man and the loving woman, and the woman held the child close to her heart. The child looked into the loving faces of her father and mother, and heard them say, “We shall call her Grace, and she is the best gift of all.Song:Welcome, welcome lovely day,With flowers bright and sunshine gay,And painted birds who sing their songs,And make me kind and good and strong.And so, dear children, Grace came to join us on this earth, and we are so glad you are here.
If you understand the story, you will grasp that our children are heavenly beings that incarnated to (re)learn lessons and also teach us what we need to learn in this lifetime ourselves. If you believe in karma, then you're probably nodding your head.
You see, when I was pregnant with my first child, I was already searching for my truth, a parenting path that would go "beyond the norm" as I have questioned conventional lifestyle practices that didn't seem to fit my personal values. Looking back at how my choices have been, the data clearly shows an alternative route-- From my birth choices (c-section to home water birth!), to extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, opting for a Waldorf school, becoming a yoga teacher... even when we uprooted to live in Palawan for 2 years..now that certainly took guts for me and my husband because many opposed us. People will always resist the unknown. But I have learned to stand for my quest for truth and embrace constant change.. because these changes, although uncomfortable, help you grow and evolve. Interestingly, a sense of rhythm also balances and grounds - a lesson my dear son brings to our lives today.
So, I thank my children for they have truly brought out the very best of me. Without them coming into my life, I would have made very different decisions and would certainly be a lesser version of me.
To my children - I know this love so well, it has indeed surpassed the bounds of time and space and will go on through eternity. Thank you again and again for choosing me to become your mother. I am honored and will rise up to the challenge of helping you both realize your life's mysteries.