It was a revelation when John, a significant spiritual teacher in my life, told me that parenting was not about making your children’s lives comfortable. I probably looked at him like he had three eyes. My raison d’être as a parent was not about making my children happy and comfortable?! He explained that being a responsible conscious parent was about raising our children to be courageous, spiritual warriors to deal with the complexities of human existence. Once again my worldview was turned inside out. As Sid described working with John; you opened your mouth and he put his hand down your throat, grabbed you by your balls and turned you inside out. Sid also has a way with words and that about described it.

If I hope to pass any wisdom down to my children, it would be to do the absolute best you can, love the most you are able, forgive yourself for your limitations and know that it is all just the way it is supposed to be. if I could counsel myself at an earlier age in my life, the greatest wisdom I would impart is to add that we really have very little control over anything. However, faith has taught me that there is order in the Universe, and that this order has much better plan than I would have devised.

From a young age, I reminded Casey that she chose me to be her parent. Granted, I would mention that when she was feeling terribly victimized by being my daughter, so it probably wasn’t the best timing. But I think the message was received. I would never have consciously chosen my parents, but it had certainly worked out perfectly, and yet I cannot take any responsibility for the perfection. Reasoning and experience tell me that there has to be a greater wisdom or, as my brothers say, “a higher power” in the Universe.

What John did that day was to thrust me into the bigger picture perspective of parenting. I would not have taken that leap without his urging. Then again why would we choose spiritual teachers if we could do it on our own?

It is hard for me to grasp who the teachers are and who the students are in the parent-child dyad. Often as a parent I felt like one of my heroes, Mr. Magoo, while precariously venturing on in life. It was Mr. Magoo who blindly walked forward and was mysteriously kept safe.

I learned quite a bit from my children during their early years and as they have matured to adulthood, that learning has accelerated. It really doesn’t matter who is learning and who is teaching. Both are a sacred precious ritual for which much gratitude is to be gleaned.

Whether it be through your children, a shaman, or a cartoon character, being open to Life’s teachings on life’s terms certainly makes for a more interesting way to live.