i have always been hard on myself. it started way too early, that i felt the tug of what was calling me, and what i expected myself to be. afraid to fail, compelled to the invisible duty that was my own invention, dancing for the audience instead of myself. becoming a mother made me see that the way we feel about the world is what really counts. becoming their storyteller made me realize what it looks like to me.
my kids do not get snagged on themselves. they wear their freedom like a badge. and my heart is filled the same kind of freedom they show me, because of it. i very rarely ask them to be quieter, my favorite time of day is the end, when they are wild and happy and home, feeding off the energy of being together. i try to mirror their joy, when they share it with me. they are dramatic and kind and uninhibited. watching them in motion stirs something inside me. once in a while, to just document a moment with their friends, a visit, a trip to get ice cream, i pull out my phone, and they look and smile. and i hardly recognize them. even these kids who have grown to treat the camera as an extension of their mama, do that smile for the camera dance, in the presence of others. there is something sweet about it for me, because it's a novelty, and because i'm trying to show them that their lives and souls are art. i want them to feel that. our love becomes art. a picture is not just a picture. it is how they move, how they look at something that makes them feel alive.
and so this lesson in their embrace of life, is that our intent colors our actions. like a rainbow. we find the keys to locks hidden inside of ourselves, and we can see the openness we feel. our inner lives are landscapes in themselves. i know that it will get harder as they get older, but i hope with every cell of my being that their souls will grow to meet a bigger world. and if they ever doubt it, i will show them proof. i will show them a picture of who they are.