From the Mouth of Babe's - What a Mother Learned from Her Daughter by Melissa Ricker

Having ditched most of my biology classes, I found myself pregnant with Kaitlyn at 20 years old.  Surprise! She was due November 30th

The Two of Us

and other than relinquishing my youth to her, I had no idea what to expect. I read everything but “What to Expect when your Expecting.”  Beginning with Linda Goodman’s sun signs. I had to know what a Saggitarian childs temperment was likely to be.  My only reference was my older , crazy Saggitarian brother and it scared the dickens out of me.  ‘Honest as the day is long’, I read, ‘waving their heart at you’, it continued.   Naturally I was excited to see what this little being had to offer the world.  Little did I know she would become one of my greatest teachers.

“Mom, not everything needs to match!”  My daughter hit me between the eyes with that pearl when she was six.  Stopped me dead in my tracks.  My long pause to reflect on her words caused Kaitlyn to soften her tone.  Looking up at me like a wise sage, she gently reminded that it’s just not that big of a deal.  Those two sentences changed me forever.

Oh, she was honest alright.  Never ask a Saggitarian if your butt looks fat in a pair of jeans. You will likely walk away stunned holding an answer delivered with such swiftness it could take you more than a moment to recover.  As it did me.  Kaitlyn came into this world with a natural ability to shirk off problems like water off a ducks tail.  A trait neither one of her parents possessed.  She became physically ill if she had a secret and offered the truth whether your were ready for it or not.  “Mama, I’m failing English,” “Mama, I tried pot,” “Mama, it’s time to go to the doctor for birth control!”  I fear my only contribution to her was to teach her how to deliver the message with a little finesse.  Blunt force truth could put a damper on her relationships if left unchecked.

I, on the other hand, was a sensitive child.  Every word hit my heart with a thud and I couldn’t say boo to the devil.  One would think growing up in my household I would have a thicker skin. No, not so.  I took it all so personally and heaven forbid you raise your voice in my direction. I’ll cry for hours.  Soft tones, soft lighting, peace and gentility were my trademarks.  My mother told me I was the easiest child to raise, she could steer me with a feather.  The pendulum swung from passive to agressive as I aged.  And yes, I dabbled with the fine art of passive-agressiveness too.  But Kaitlyn would show me a whole different way of coming at the world.

The Two of Us Laughing with Dolphins

Watching her grow up and interact with her peers, my friends, neighbors and her teachers was such a treat.   She could paint a smile on your face with one flash of her dimples.  Carry on a conversation with an adult like it was nothing. It never took much for her to solve a problem and she was a master of observation.   Kaitlyn was fearless where I was full of fear.  Her boldness made me feel safe to navigate my world in a more purposeful way.   One day we were talking about what she may want to do when she grows up.  I advised her to do what she loves and the rest will follow.  I, however, was not living by that credo.

I took to the woods, figuratively speaking, to assess where I was in life.  I posed this question to myself “If money was no issue what would I do for a living?”  The answer that boomaranged back startled me.  Teach yoga.  What!?  I love yoga, but teach it?  Drawing from my daughters bold example I began the task of seeking a teacher.  Ultimately, my yoga training illuminated a path for me that I will always be grateful for.  I am a yoga teacher, a bodyworker and a writer.  I owe so much of my awakening to that kid, who is now a beautiful 20 year old young woman beginning her journey of self discovery.

I am eternally grateful for the ability to see that there are many ways to navigate this life.     My daughter showed me that. I still want things to match, but I don’t get my knickers in a  twist when they don’t.

Thanks baby girl ~ you rock!

Post By Melissa Ricker
Yoga Instructor, Body Worker & Writer