Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Child's Wish

I am reading my three sons a bedtime story, Pinocchio. At the end of the tale Geppetto declares that his wooden puppet of a son is truthful, brave and unselfish. This was the test that the Blue Fairy gave him to pass and so "Poof!" he is freed from the restrictions of the wood and turned into a real boy.

I am reminded of the huge breakthrough my son Ben has caused for himself lately, seeing his part in the bullying that was happening to him at school, creating a deal and having many days since then of making friends, playing and no bullying.
I kiss Ben on the forehead and thank him for being truthful and brave and unselfish without mentioning why...but he knows. He smiles and nods.
Then he says meaningfully "Thank you for being empowering, Mom."
I am stunned. I didn't know he even new that word. My heart swells with wonder.
"What made you think of that word, empowering, Ben?"
"Oh I just thought of it in my head." he says simply.

I am so touched, so fullfilled.
I reply " That's all I want to be as a Mommy, is empowering for you boys."
He says "I want you to be all that you want to be, and to be free."

I can hardly believe what I am hearing, and yet I fully get that Ben is just such a compassionate, mature and wonderful eight year old. This is just exactly what he would say. This is all he wishes for anyone.
I also get that me being free is of concern to him, and that me being free is freedom for him as well. And in that moment, I am free of all my concerns as a parent.
I kiss him again and say, with a lump in my throat, "I am. I am free. Thank you, Ben. I love you. Good night."
I promptly leave the room and cry tears of wonder, telling my husband what an amazing son we have.

As I write this, my mind goes back to when I saw my parents disempowered or unhappy. They were awesome parents, and like any, they didn't always want to do the job they did, or drive the distance, or file the paperwork...and when they were grouchy or upset or resentful about child like perspective was just "Well then why are you doing it? Just do what makes you happy!".
I wanted my parents to be free too. I still do. As their child, nothing saddens me more than to see my parents unhappy about something. I think it affects our core being, our sense of security and safety. Like Ben, all I want is for them to be free in all areas of their life.
As a parent, I get I cannot really do anything about their choices in their lives (beside suggest, remind, and annoy), and I can see that I can really only be happy and free in my life. Perhaps, rather than figuring out what kind of techniques I need to incorporate to be the best parent for my kids, perhaps just being happy and free with myself is all I need to do.

Be all that I want to be and be free. What a gift to give to yourself and those you love.

Zen Honeycutt


  1. That is so amazing to hear your son say that! wow, that is a gift!

    It's interesting that you talk about your kid wanting you to be happy and free because i remember thinking the same thing as a kid growing up - i wanted my parents to be happy and free as well. I didnt like seeing my parents unhappy or grouchy. I wanted them to be having fun and enjoying themselves. interestingly, I remember trying to make up for everyone else being grouchy by trying to be the happy, positive, upbeat one.

    Even now, i see myself get frustrated with my parents and wish they knew what is possible for them and their life ...

    However, i get they are who they are and accept them and love them as i know they love me.

    Thanks for the reminder to just be happy and free! :)


  2. Ben is extraordinary, like his mommy. Sometimes it's best to follow our kids' leads. Thanks Zen, for sharing your family with us!