According to psychologists, little children wake up in the middle of the night and go into their parent’s bedroom not to see whether the parents are there, but to see whether they are there. The repeatedness of this assures them of their existence. And this is how all stories begin – we are born and then start shaping worlds within worlds. Dreams, ideas, beliefs, and understandings all begin to form and shape within the walls of our physical bodies.

Parenting can be extremely difficulty especially when the children are little. We often have to hold their big and small emotions, while simultaneously holding our own giant ones. Some days you may feel imperfect, some days you may feel not good enough and self-critical, some days you will feel so tired and worn out, and you may not even have time to shower, wondering, “When will this get any easier?”

You’ll be holding the big emotions, and you’ll be holding all the hard – because you are a main character right now, you are your children’s main character, you are their safe space, the beautiful space in which they can love freely, live freely, imagine freely, and out of which they’ll become who they need to be to live beautiful lives. One of our greatest spiritual lessons in life is understanding that each one of us does the best we can in each of our moments – so settle in this knowing.

And as sad as it can be, some day your child will have other main characters in their story who will hopefully give them that similar safe space in which they’ll love freely, dream freely, live freely as they are and as they need to. So as hard as it is right now, remember:

You are a main character right now in a fairy tale – and that’s the most beautiful fairy tale of all.

You are their all and their everything – you are their world. You are the fairy godmother, the mama bear, the shoemaker and the dress seamstress. No matter what happens and how you feel your child’s eyes never leave you, and love you in all ways and all the time. Some days you are like Cinderella teaching them how to stay true to themselves no matter how others treat them; some days you are Sleeping Beauty showing kindness to the tiny animals with the purity and beauty of your heart. You are the seven musicians of Bremen and you are the dancing princesses awake all night.

You are Aladdin, and sometimes you are the magic carpet being everywhere all at once; and you are Sinbad, traveling the vastness of the world and sometimes fighting strange and non-sensical creatures. You are the little mermaid whose curiosity and openness of heart wanted to explore worlds beyond her own; and you are Gerda putting on her red bright shoes of courage knowing that what’s yet unfound only means it isn’t lost. Some days you’ll be doubtful and frustrated and all will seem like chaos – but this too is part of the story; and these are important parts of every story because they show us and teach us how to navigate through life’s obstacles. As much as we try to build straight and direct roads with concrete, the paths of life are often full of twists and turns and trust is what we need, a supportive and comforting hand also.

Not all will work out, sometimes we’ll spill things, and sometimes we’ll fall. And not all hard work will pay off in life, but there’s no defeatedness nor failure in this – all that matters is the walk and that’s an important part of their life’s story because we all feel lost sometimes and that’s okay. We’ll show them the importance of remembering to trust ourselves still, even in these moments, that all we can do sometimes is weave and shape from our feet and hands. And take steps. Little steps. One foot after the other. Lightly, slowly. And who know what is waiting around the corner? We never know who might show up in our story, during our uncertainties and doubts and fears, on the next page the sun might be waiting. It could be kindness from the hand of a stranger, or a firepit in the cold forest.

You make magic with your hands – you bake cakes, and your healing touch soothes them every night, and your soft voice calms them through their fears and worries.

You show them how not all that sparkles is gold and that gold is not even the goal – because what matters most is that we need to see beyond what our eyes can. You show them how to listen to the leaves in the wind, how to smell the fragrance of roses and strawberries, how to walk a patience and kindness of rhythm.

You show them the kind of seeing that calls upon all parts of ourselves. You show them how to see with their hands, as they touch the old wood or their soft hair. You show them how to see with their feet, as they carry us along the way from place to place; and how our bodies too carry us no matter how tired we may be or how we might not even like the look of them sometimes. You show them how to see with their noses, as we catch the playful dancing scents carried on the breeze that have travelled from all directions. You show them how to open doors and windows – not the physical ones – but the ones we open when we shift our eyes inward towards the inner emotional and spiritual wildlands, with a clarity of mind, purity of heart entering the imagination and the worlds where all exists and breathes always.

You show them that sometimes we’ll feel like the tiny mouse who never thought it was brave nor strong enough and yet it never gave up and became a king mouse. You show them how to weave the extraordinary out of the ordinary, and the wonders of nature, flowers and wildlife; and you show them that sometimes the greatest adventures begin in the woods – but hope is the through-line of the narrative and we’ll always find a way rejoicing in dance together around the fire.

You are magic.

And you reflect their own magic in your eyes as you look at them, as you see them, as you encourage them tirelessly every single day. You show them that they are heroes – because in every child is a hero, is a super power hidden in the purity of their hearts, in their kindness, openness and playfulness. And you gift them super powers – you gift them trust, belief, and the power of imagination.

You are their dream.

You are their fairy tale.

And it’s the greatest fairy tale of all – a fairy tale of true eternal love.

This article of mine has also been published on Your Zen Mama.

For more of my writings, browse through my Art of Love.

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Cover art: A Tender Embrace by Émile Munier, 1887, via Wikimedia Commons.

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