Teaching Each Other Who We Are

Every traffic light was red. We got to martial arts late.

Riley maintained calm. She walked in. Ran to the bathroom to wash her hands(she’d had a snack in the car), then joined the class in progress. This was big, as being late is a trigger for her.

It was a substitute teacher. He does things differently. He is a wonderful person, but he does things differently.

Riley maintained calm.

She did 100 sit ups for the first time ever! No one holding her feet. 

But he does things differently.

Three fourths of the way into class, she lost it. He had the kids do a drill, and it got kind of loud, and chaotic and she ran screaming from the room and into the teacher’s office. Her blood curdling screams went on and on. I followed her and closed the door. Usually if she’s that far gone, it’s all over.

She threw herself on the office sofa, still screaming. Sitting down I pulled her close and held her tight.

This time I didn’t tell her,

“Stop screaming.”

I didn’t tell her,

“You are disrupting the class.”

I didn’t tell her,

“You need to get it together.”

I didn’t put my hand over her mouth as I’ve been prone to do in public places.

This time I said,

“Mr. S. does things differently.” My sentence hung in the air a while.

She sucked in her breath and the screams became whimpers.

I said, “It can be confusing sometimes with a different teacher.”

Riley turned to me and buried her head into my neck.

Stroking her arm, I began to speak in my softest whisper, what we’ve practiced in mediation. 

“Riley. There is a part of you that is bigger than this physical body sitting here on the couch with me. This larger part of you is not separate from you, but part of you. It is always there. Part of you came here, in this body, to help expand All That Is. You, and everyone you meet, are extentions of God. You are a very important person! Your Higher Self is so grateful to you for being here. You are doing such good work. Your Higher Self knows how strong and brave you are. Your Higher Self, this part of you, is always calm. Always knows what to do. You can always turn to It. It is pure Love. It is where you came from, and where you will return to. It is always with you, always loving you, always there to show you the way.”   

We sat in silence for a while. I felt her body slowly let go of the tension. Then she was ready.

She returned to class and finished it successfully.

My daughter and me. 

Teaching each other who we are.

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15 Responses to Teaching Each Other Who We Are

  1. Niksmom says:

    This takes my breath away. You are such an amazing mom, Michelle. You & Riley (& Seth & Todd, too) are blessed to have each other. Truly.

  2. Amanda says:

    Now this is why you are obviously meant to be my friend. You always manage to articulate and organise those thoughts that buzz around my head but never quite stay still long enough for me.
    I’ve done the “you are allowed to feel this way, this is different” thing with my girls but I haven’t done the spiritual angle before. It just makes so much sense, it’s so obvious. I am so dense!

  3. Me says:

    I wish I could memorize those words you spoke and use them myself…just beautiful.

  4. Wanda says:

    Sounds like the dog has been good for you, Michelle.

    This is wonderful. So amazed at the continued growth.

    You go, girls.

  5. pixiemama says:

    Wow. Just -wow.


  6. Words to live by. That was beautiful.
    Well done, Riley! Well done, Michelle!

  7. Jerri says:

    Michelle, if more moms could or would say these things to their children, violence and war would eventually disappear from the planet.

    You are a light in the world–for your family and for those of us lucky enough to read your blog and love you, near or far.

  8. Penny says:

    Beautiful words, thank you for sharing. We are all lights, bigger than these mere bodies. Someone once said, you are not a body with a soul, you are a soul with a body. Amen to that.

  9. amber says:

    Wow. You are just the PERFECT mother for her. You give her just the kind of love she needs this journey. It is beautiful.


  10. Oh, that was breathtaking. As you teach each other, you teach all of us. Thank you for this!

  11. Blair says:

    Hi Michelle! I LOVE your new website. And your new puppy is divine! I hope Riley is loving Jingle – I’m so happy everything worked out and she is with you!
    Love Blair

  12. Susan Hendrickson says:

    Wow, I got chills reading that. You are such a great mom and Riley is a fantastic kid!

  13. kario says:

    And you two are teaching the rest of us, too.

    Thank you.

  14. Beautiful. I love that. Thank you for sharing.

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