“Thank you for being my rock. I don’t know what I’d do without you. You’re the only person in this world that I can always count on.” Paige (swoon)
My relationship with Paige is one of my greatest achievements in this lifetime.
We continue to get closer through each experience and every heart to heart, and I’m oh so grateful for the many gifts we’ve both enjoyed over the past year of living together in Montreal, despite all the ways we’ve driven each other crazy while sharing a very small space.
We just want each other to be happy. Period. And we do all that we can to make that happen for the other.
She sacrificed her solitude and independence to give me a place to stay, and she let me capitalize on this sweet deal by giving me the freedom to go to school and work on my creative projects while it was feasible to do so, instead of me working just to be able to live on my own.
I furnished the place, offered all my momness, helped pay for things and gave her all the love and support she could handle.
Our relationship is beautiful and very special and I don’t take our closeness or her generosity for granted.
Not everyone is close to their family members. I certainly wasn’t close to mine. But what I have with my girl is everything to me and it more than makes up for all that was lacking with my mother and family growing up.
I believe that each generation does better than the last. My mom offered me gifts she didn’t receive from her mother. And I offer Paige the gifts I didn’t receive from my mom.
We all learn what we can do better or different than our parents did. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we repeat but at least we’re showing up.
Our parents did their best and we are doing our best and as long as we can give more love than we were given, then we’re adding more love to the mix of life and there’s something really commendable in that.
Parenting is awful and it’s awesome and it’s certainly no walk in the park, but on nights like tonight after a long and tear-filled, soul expanding heart to heart with my girl, I’m reminded that this is what it’s really all about.
It’s about helping another human to navigate the messiness of life even while your own mess awaits. It’s about loving your child so deeply that their pain brings you pain and their joy is your joy.
It’s about seeing them clearly and better than anyone else, and reflecting it back to them when they’re feeling lost and defeated.
And it’s about being their rock. The one they can go to with anything and everything because you’ve proven year after year that’s it’s safe for them to do so.
Teens and young adults aren’t notorious for including their parents in their circle of confidants, but as a mom who has a child that remains open about all things, I want to tell other parents that it is possible if that’s the kind of dynamic you want to share, and if your child is inclined that way (some are not so let them be).
You gain that trust by allowing your child to be who they are, by allowing them to make choices that feel right to them even and especially when they feel wrong to you, by being authentic yourself and owing your own shit when it comes up (because we all have shit that comes up), by not imposing your ideas and views and expectations on them (because no one likes that ever), and genuinely being there when they need to talk. And then really listening and really caring and offering your love and support and feedback if it’s wanted.
Open and healthy communication is everything. Feeling seen is everything. Being loved and understood is everything.
These are the things I give my girl and this is part of why we have what we have.
And my dream is that our relationship continues to deepen as time goes on. So far, so good.
"I struggle SO much as a stepmother. I only have such a small percentage of time spent with him and I have always been the strict one. Now he is rebelling against that but, I will always be the strict one whose rules are unwavering but whose ear is always open and whose shoulder always has a place. What an immense job you have fulfilled raising and supporting such a wonderful woman. I look forward to the adult my child will become. Your posts have given me strength in raising a child." Angella Russell
"I love this ❤️❤️ it’s so true in many ways. I will always let my boys be who they want to be. I am strict and I’m sure I’ll still be strict when they are older but I will NEVER judge them on what they do, who they love or the choices they make. I will always be here when they need me. It breaks my heart knowing that there are parents out there that make there children (old or young) choose between their family and their choices that they made. Everyone is their own person and they should be able to be who they want to be. Xoxoxo. Thank you for posting this. I love you big sister!! And you are an amazing mom xoxoxo" Tina McIsaac
"Thank you so much for posting this, Mandy. I really needed to read this. I love every word you said. What a way you have with words. Sometimes you're not quite sure you're doing it right but hopefully I'll look back at my relationship w/ my kids and be able to write something just as wonderful. Thanks from the bottom of my heart." Sammy Losee
P.P.S. If an erotic, poetic, insightful and vulnerable real-life fairytale is your kinda thing, I invite you to explore my soul's offering, The Poet & The Butterfly.