Q is getting ready to leave. Her aeroplane leaves Casablanca on 28 August taking her to the U.S. It is an exciting time for her – beginning graduate school, planning her wedding next summer, having her own place for the first time. This mother business is tricky eh? It makes yin and yang look like a walk in the park. When I decided to have a child, I did it for lofty reasons. I don’t think one should have children to “look after me when I am old”, or to live out unfulfilled dreams, or as an accessory, or as something that is expected of you. I decided to have a child because I thought with the life I had lived up to that point, I had something to teach, that I could rear a being who would make a positive contribution to the universe. Ah yes, all that lasted until I looked into those eyes shaded by unbelievably long lashes in the operating room. I fell completely in love. I never expected that. I read all the pregnancy books, and the parenting books when I was pregnant, as I had never had parents so the mystery was complete. No one ever prepared me for that first moment I saw her. It was if every cell in my body was filled with light, and I knew for a moment the bliss described in the Dharma.
Then it turned to the reality of three am nursing sessions, the terror of high fevers, and the mystery of walking, potty training, and language. It has been the best ride of my life. She was, and is, the easiest child in the Universe. I have always imagined the gods having a conversation, “She’s had a bit of a rough time I think we should give her an easy one.” “That and the fact I’m not sure she could handle a difficult one.” Motherhood has been the most difficult and most joy filled job I have ever done. I had two pieces of great advice I remember and I’ll pass on to you. When she was only months old a chap came to the door with his young son to buy some weights I had advertised in the paper. As I opened the door, I heard Q cry out from the nursery. “Excuse me I have to get the baby. I’ll be just back then.”
When I returned I apologized for having to leave so abruptly and the chap said, “Take my advice. Hold her every minute you can. Once they begin walking, they keep going away from you.” I did and I am glad.
The other great piece of advice was from another chap actually who said, “If you want to know how you are doing as a parent, don’t look within. Look at your child.” I did, and she has convinced me I am a terrific mom!
She has excelled in both her personal life and her school career. She is well-rounded, compassionate, loving, physically beautiful, generous, curious, and only cranky when she is hungry. I am proud of her every day, and I am anxious to see what she will do with the rest of her life.
We have had a great year here together. I think we are both glad I came along, but for both of us a year living together is long enough. She is a grown woman now with her own needs, wants and routines. I am Mrs. Tittlemouse, she is not. I don’t cook, she does. I like everything pristine, she is more relaxed. I find it amazing that we did not kill each other over the course of the year. I had to back off from the mom role – as in offering advice, and not giving orders – not my best thing but I did try. I’ve had to learn to live with a kitchen that is to my eyes messy, and to her eyes fit for living in. She has had to tolerate my asking where she is going, and when she will be back. She has spent the year being my interpreter, and I have spent the year picking up her clothes. But we did live through it, and in good form. We had a fun trip to Marrakech, and adventures in both Fez and Rabat, especially the Fez Medina. I had the joy of watching her discover more of herself and her abilities. She took side trips all about the country with friends, while I banged at my laptop and waited for it to cool down. We entertained her fiancé over Christmas and they toured the countryside. She found places with great food, I found places with great atmosphere. We shopped together more than we have since she was ten, and went through the joy and fear of M.C. Solaar’s sojourn into our lives. We managed it all while being tolerant, considerate, and loving to each other – not easy all the time.
Now she leaves on her own journey, and I continue mine.