I believe in being silent

Sally - Hickory, North Carolina
Entered on October 30, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: parenthood

I believe in being silent.

My daughter is writing her college essay as we speak. I am trying to advise and encourage her as my inner voice is screaming “SHUT UP”! Her outer voice is doing the same. Though the process began months ago, it is now down to the wire, and the stressed side of the brain is in control. Just imagine how bad this might be if I were not seriously inhaling yoga philosophy and letting go at every opportunity! I commit myself to sit here and write, and to be silent.

This is just a grain of salt in the shaker- as unimportant as daily grades, high school bitchiness and the final game of the World Series. Yet the process of proving oneself worthy to give an institution a life savings or to incur huge debt suddenly and surprisingly seems absurd to me. I have pushed her and counseled her to work towards this, to give a hundred percent, to do her best. Her dad and I have read with her, paid for violin, art, piano, voice, and even SAT lessons. Study,Give, Read, Practice, Write, Help -17 years of mantras. We have stood behind her, and we have let her go her own way as well. Seemingly, so much rides on the these final weeks – GPA, class rank, SAT scores, essay writing – Right now I want to cry bullshit! I am feeling guilty for the life lessons I learned but did not adequately teach. I want to shout that none of this really matters!

Much as I would like to transfer the wisdom I think I have gained I know that I cannot. I know she will learn the beauty of the journey in spite of the stress and aches and pains. I would not give up my history of failure and mistakes, and so I will, I must, let her go on. I want to tell her that it continues – the work, the learning, the loving, and the heartbreak – but that the edges soften and the centers become full. I want her to know that somewhere along the path you notice how shiny the stones are, how lovely the sky. That you sometimes forget where you are headed because it doesn’t really matter.

I watch her concentration, feel her energy, and see a wisdom beyond her years. I know her passion and intelligence, I know her sincerity and kindness. I walk a motherly tightrope and I am learning to shut up. Just now she looks up from her writing, smiles and says, “I like this, this is good”.