You Belong to Us

DSCF7603As parents, we want our children to deeply feel, to know in every cell of their bodies, with every breath of their lungs that they belong to us.
I want my children to know this.
You belong. To us.
I don’t mean this in the sense that I see children as our possessions. Rather, parenting calls us to create this clear-sighted safety for those whom we hold most dear.
I see each word in this as a piece of this calling.
You—We see them for who they are. Witnessing their purity of spirit, embodiments of love. Our behavior says to them, “I see you clearly. I know you deeply.”
Belong—They are part of us. They have a place. They are connected. Cherished. Nurtured. They are home in the most fundamental sense of the word. Here. Now. With us.
To us—Who we are as a family. Our stories. Our history. Our uniqueness. All the little details that make us, us. Documented. Captured. Recorded. Remembered and revisited so that we know the shape and story of what we fit into.
You belong to us.
This is the world I am called to as a parent and as an artist. This is the essence, the core. The guidepost and the goal. This is the practice.
I will louse it up. I will get it wrong. I will fall short. And I will try again. I will return.
This is the truth that I most want my children to know. This is the feeling I most want the families I work with to experience.
You are seen. In all your perfect imperfection. And you are loved. You are worthy.
You belong without caveat or condition. Regardless of sass and anger and refusing to flush the toilet. And you are loved.
Our family stories matter. The long ones and the short ones. The yarns and the one-liners. The wedding days and the everydays.
You belong to us. And you are loved.