unmothering at nautilus teachings


we are never
to old to be
i have a dear friend
who, when i met her in 1999
knocked on my door.
i had just moved in-
and she said,
“hi, i’m rae and i believe
you and i are going to be friends…”
17 years later
she is a woman
i admire and love.
she took me under her wings
treated my kids
like they were her own
loved and guided me
as if i were her daughter…
she taught me
so, so, so
many things…
how to bloom
no matter
your circumstances
how to laugh
at myself
how to give endlessly
to grieve with
beauty and grace
how to keep re-inventing
when life breaks you
to keep on growing
and dancing-
yes dancing…
she tap dances
and wins awards…
and her age-
she is as young
as my mother would be…

there are moments
when we rebel against
being mothered…
when we are young
striving to find
our own path,
and voice,
when we are in need
of learning
inner strength,
confidence, courage
and who we are…
we walk down so many paths
some of them are the wrong ones,
and we need to make
our own mistakes
to hurt
to learn
and to recover…
it is a time
when the helicopter parent game
just will not work…
i for one was never hovering,
i was so scared i would die young
i taught my children
to be accountable
to be strong
to make up their own mind
to live the life
they only dreamed of…

it was hard
as they grew and told me
to fuck off
it hurt
so much
i thought i
would never recover…
the process of
being unmothered
for parts of our life
is necessary…
because as we marry
have children
grow up
become responsible adults
watch our kids leave home
we then begin the process
of folding back into
the wanting to be mothered…
what i would not give
for my mom to hold me
for her to have lived a long life
and been able to share in mine
but i have rae,
and she
is my earthly mother
who i love
and trust
so much
with all my heart…
i don’t get to see her much
when i do
i soak up every word
she speaks,
memorize every step
she takes
hold close
every hug given
and know
that with her
i am loved…
she is an amazing woman
who i am truly blessed
to have as part of my journey
in this tiny, beautiful life
God has given me,
and i cherish every moment
i get to be
by her love
and friendship…

all you young moms out there,
let your children
have wings
let them fall
let the hurt
let them find out
who they are
as they grow…
God gave you them
not to make them
mini you’s
but to guide, teach and love them
into who
they are to become…
and when it hurts
when they rebel
or leave home
know they need to
be unmothered
or they will never
or be happy…