I’ve found nothing more challenging, nothing more rewarding, and nothing more enlightening than being a parent. Parenting has it all. As a father, I’ve witnessed the miracle of birth, waking up in the middle of the night to walk around and soothe a screaming child, and received some the best Father’s Day cards ever. The one thing I’ve learned, more than anything else, is that my child is an amazing mirror. His authentic, no holds barred voice in my life has brought me great struggle and great insight. My relationship with Elliot has all the qualities of a partnership that can expose me to unforeseen lows as well as push me to new heights.
Our Relationship Is a Mirror
When I’m with my son, I can immediately and clearly see what state I’m in. I feel joyful and light. I’m enthusiastic about the possibilities of our time together. I find myself laughing aloud and running wildly through my home or yard, playing ball, chase or building with Legos. Time flies when I’m playing with my son and I feel connected to my own joy. Thankfully, lately I find myself enjoying my time with Elliot in this way with greater frequency than ever before.
The other quality of experience I’ve found upon looking into the mirror of our relationship is one of contraction and resistance. What I mean by this is that the thought of spending time with my son will sometimes bring forward a feeling of obligation, of burden. I won’t lie. I’ve sat for hours with my son, doing my best to keep up, watching the clock tick away, counting the minutes until my wife returned and my “shift” was over.
The Importance of Self-Care
What I’ve learned through these amazing experiences with my son is the importance of self-care. In the past, I might have placed blame on myself for the times that I wasn’t enthusiastic about being with him. Now, I’m learning to receive it all as information. Do I need more rest? How much am I enjoying my life? How much fun am I willing to have? These questions are answered very quickly and accurately when my son and I are together.
I’ve also learned that Elliot will enjoy himself with or without me. This awareness has taken some of the pressure off of me having to pretend to be Superdad . The most fruitful choice I can make with my son is to speak and act from a place of authenticity. In this way, Elliot can clearly understand that he’s not responsible for my well-being and that my bad days don’t mean that there’s something wrong with him. I’m modeling for him that it’s okay to be authentic with others, both when I’m feeling good and when I’m feeling bad.
He Shifts My Mood
The great part is that sometimes my son will tell me just the right thing to help shift my mood and my state of being. The wisdom of innocence has proven to be priceless time and time again. Such a cute little mirror.
About the Author
Edward Biagiotti shares his practical philosophies on the subjects of parenting and education. He has been working and growing in the field of education for the past 12 years, and as a father for 7 (and 1/2) years. Edward enjoys writing, speaking, consulting, and learning about parenting, education, and connecting with children. His writings and additional information can be found at www.tappingintogenius.com and he can be contacted for booking at firstname.lastname@example.org.