Parenting is trust. Trusting your instinct. Trusting your partner. Guarding your children’s trust. Encouraging them to trust friends, but cautioning them not to trust too much. Teaching them to trust you. Trusting them to achieve milestones when they are ready.
It is sacred, this trust within family. I look at our girls and find myself living and breathing by my ability to deserve their trust, to be worthy. Don’t use the phone in the car, don’t make empty promises (or threats). Let them test and explore. Let them become acquainted with their own instinct. Trust that they’ll forgive me. Trust that they’ll come back to me.
This heightened awareness of trust gives me pause in every day life. Spending so much of my time working to be worthy of our girls’ trust, worthy of Sean’s trust, worthy of my bosses trust as I work from home, I wonder:
What to do you do when trust fails? When your trust is shattered? When someone you have let in spoils it. Soils it. Destroys that delicate balance, this thing of trust. What do you do? How do you rebuild trust? How do you know when to take the leap and try again and when to close a door, protect yourself.
My grandfather is coming up on nearly a year of intermittent hospice care. A year of dying, a year of living. Either way, the reality of death and end are right there, nipping at our heels, swatting us in the face. Taunting us. Have you lived? have you done what you wanted? Lived the life you wanted to live? Have you been true? Have you been worthy of trust? Have you been worthy of the life you have been given?
How do you answer that? How do you watch some clinging to life and relishing the twilight with diminished freedom, compromised abilities but a wholly undeterred spirit? An indomitable zeal for living. How do you witness that and not vow to eliminate anything that is not worthy?
How do you say I’ll take care of it tomorrow? Let’s wait and see. What value is there in waiting? Waiting, yes, there can be wisdom in waiting. Prudence. But there is a line, a time when it is clear that waiting is not gathering wisdom, but postponing discomfort.
Honestly, I am feeling a bit broken in spirit, by death and uncertainty. The things I have are my family, my center of trust, and my own instinct. I have to trust that this circle and this instinct will see me through. But I am afraid. I am so afraid of trusting. Trusting that I know. I hope that I can summon the courage to carry me through what feels like a free fall.
I will be caught.
I will not fall forever.
I can do this. I hope.