Once upon a time, there lived a perfect (or so she thought) mother who dreamed of her angelic twin boys. Before they were born, she would pray the usual dreams of a mommy: may they be safe, may they be happy, and may they be healthy. Over the course of her pregnancy, she imagined what she would do and not do, what she would say and not say, and what she would feed them and not feed them (no sweets till 10!).
After those very long nine months, her boys were born and her prayers were answered. They were happy. They were healthy. And they were safe. And as months turned into years, her boys grew and grew. Her advisors offered heaps of advice: let them have a little bit of sweets or they should be potty trained by one or he is so much more of a go getter or the other one is so so shy; and on and on it went. All these rules rattled in the mother’s head and before she realized it, most of what came out of her mouth often started with NO. No, you may not touch that knife. No, you really shouldn’t poop on the carpet. No, don’t run too fast. No, No, NO!
And then one day, when her boys were especially up to no good, she ran out of her house and into the woods. She walked and walked and walked until she lost track of time. She stumbled upon a large clearing where an old woman with long white hair and a red sequin hat sat knitting on a wooden bench. The old woman looked up, smiled and slid over to make room for her. Once the mother sat down, the old woman began to speak and tell stories of times when she was a little girl roaming around the woods, of how she traveled around the world before she settled down and had her own children. Now her children were scattered around the world and the old woman was content with her knitting, her animals, and her woods.
She then put her knitting down and grabbed the mommy’s hand. The old woman whispered, “Let me tell you something that my own mother told me, and her mother told her. I had kept this truth with me for all this time and I now pass this onto you.”
“I was so busy telling my children what to do or not to do, so busy making sure that they didn’t leave the imaginary box I created for them in my mind, that I forgot the most important thing: faith. Do they have faith in their ability to figure out a path? Do they believe they can do it, whatever IT is? You see, if they truly believe in themselves, then they are going to push those boundaries. Let them. Let them find out what happens when they step out of their comfort zones. Remember that their comfort zones may not be the same as yours. Your job as a mother is to love them and nurture their faith in themselves.”
And with that, the old woman vanished. As the mother walked back to her house, she began to think about the wise woman’s words. She was given a gift. Her job was to make sure her boys were safe. Though not too safe. She realized that she needed to nurture that spark of genius and potential in her boys.
That would be her mission.