When I was pregnant with my second child, I could not fathom loving her the same way I loved my firstborn son. It worried me. Turns out I was right. I don’t love her in the same way at all.
The way I feel about my children can’t be described. I can only feel my energy change when I’m in their presence. From the moment my daughter was born, I sensed that her energy was incredibly different from my son. I was right. She slept like a champ, rarely cried and was always content with her own company. They boy was a clingy, colicky, insomniac who needed me within 12 inches of him in order to function.
My son was intense, connected and high strung. His eyes followed me everywhere, and when I held him in my arms our souls connected. I struggled to find a way to get my daughter’s attention from the time she opened her eyes. She seemed to look right through me, rushed through feedings wanting to be left to her own devices.
In the book, Soul to Soul Parenting: A Guide to Raising a Spiritually Conscious Family, Annie Burnside words about parenting in a soulful way have helped me in a way that no therapist or expert in the field of autism spectrum disorders have even come close to doing. She writes, “Your children will come to know you, and you will come to know them on a soul level, one that transcends time and space.” This is comforting to me as I struggle to connect with my daughter on her terms using her language. I’m constantly working to bridge the space between us, to find way to communicate that doesn’t depend on the spoken language that we speak and understand so differently.
Today as we were driving in the car, I asked her a question about the wildlife preserve we had just visited. She said, “Mom, can you stop talking to me because I’m busy with my turtles here.” Later, when we were having lunch at Target, she informed me that she was having a “lovely” time with me and then licked my hand. Communication is always on her terms. I could have chosen to define our interaction as an unsuccessful connection, yet because I’m learning to connect with her on a more soulful level, I felt incredibly connected to her. I know she feels the same way.
Cate will always speak the truth. Her soul is incredibly pure in its ability to connect, never fake or inauthentic. Although Annie’s book was a gift to me, I’m finding that it might be the only parenting book I can use to increase the connection that I so desperately want to have with my daughter and I highly recommend it for anyone raising a child, special needs or not. It has reminded me that I need to be present, authentic and to allow myself to keep traveling on this parenting journey this child who has changed the way I understand and see everything.
Parenting in a soulful way is knocking down the barriers that I mistakenly thought were preventing me and my daughter from really knowing each other. Annie writes, “The only question necessary in any given relationship or life situation really becomes what speaks truth to you.”
Cate loves yellow. She says it’s the happiest color. The yellow marker is always the first to dry out in our art supplies. Recently when Cate and I were walking together she said, “Mom, can you believe all this yellow that is always with me and you?” Her question spoke a truth that traditional language might not have interpreted correctly had I not already become familiar with the language of her soul, and that is the only truth I need.
http://www.annieburnside.com/ Thanks, Annie.
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