Mother Of A Wild Child
“Give me the wild children with their bare feet and sparkling eyes. The restless, churning climbers. The wild ones using their outside voices, singing all the way home. Give me the wonder-filled, glorious mess-makers, dreaming of mountains and mud, aching to run through a field of stars” – Nicolette Sonder
Isn’t that quote just beautiful? As I typed it out a calm came over me, because I could actually see my wild boy in each of these words. Those sparkly, wild blue eyes that pierces right through your soul, the dirty feet and mud-filled hands. The giggle as he swims in the muddy puddle and you can barely recognize him, but that smile so bright it can only be his. Never quiet, always full of energy, full of wonder. No mountain, no obstacle to high for him to climb. So loud, so cheeky, so honest. Every day, no everything is an adventure, always imagining new possibilities, with every dream wilder than the one before. Isn’t it glorious, isn’t it wonderful…?
But raising a wild child isn’t always so glorious, because raising a wild child is hard when society is so focused on trying to tame them, to break them or to silence them… “They caught all the wild children and put them in zoos. They made them do sums and wear sensible shoes. They put them to bed at the wrong time of the day and made them sit still when they wanted to play. They scrubbed them with soap, and they made them eat peas. They made them behave and say pardon and please. They took all their wisdom and wildness away. That’s why there are none in the forests today.” This is exactly what society does to us trying to raise our little wildlings. First, they whisper and stare, some aren’t even scared to point fingers and make their disgust visible. They think we don’t feel the disapproving glares. They catch them and then try to force them into their perfect little mold’s, and when they fight back (because Oh how they do) they are rejected and labelled under names such as the naughty one, the loud one, the difficult one, and the sad thing is that they eventually accept these labels to be true and grow into just that. They see their wildness as a curse, instead of a gift and we see it as a burden, instead of an honor.
Oh how I wish society could step into the world of my child, even but for a moment, and experience the magnificent wonder and magic hidden within him. Then, only then, will they realize what a gift it is to be (and raise) a wild child.
One evening we were sitting at my parent’s house, when A said and did something that filled the room with giggles and laughter. It was something that shouldn’t have, but he was so serious, so honest, so wild about it. It is then that my mom said these words and it has stuck with me ever since “Oh my love, I hope that one day the world will understand you the way we do”. She didn’t have to elaborate… I knew exactly what she meant, and it was as if a darkness came over me. I knew that it was something that I would probably have to fight for throughout his life.
I knew there was something wild about A the day he was born, I mean he even chose WHEN he wanted to be born and entered the world a whole 6 weeks early – strong, and healthy. I knew there was something wild about him night in and night out of struggling to get him to sleep. He just didn’t (still doesn’t). He would lie in bed with us, because we were simply too tired to fight it anymore, and he would play, giggle and be silly into the early hours of the morning. We felt hopeless, because we have tried EVERYTHING in the market – products and services – and NONE of it made a difference for more than a couple of days. I knew he had a wild side when he started climbing on top of ladders and kitchen counters before he could even walk. So many times I would turn my back on him for but a few seconds and when I turned back he would already be on top of something too high for me to climb. I knew he had a wild side that day when we went to a restaurant and he snuck away, joined a table, and helped himself to his new “friend’s” food – he was 13 months old! I see his wild side as he swims in mud, swings on monkey bars, and speak his mind wherever and whenever. I know I have a wild child, because I prayed for one, because I understood more than anyone that if I wanted a peacemaker, a world changer, a freedom fighter he would need to be strong, fearless and outspoken.
Unfortunately, people see their wildness, their tantrums, their loud, rowdy behavior and their naturally rebellious spirit, and immediately assume that it’s because of a lack of discipline at home. They assume that these kids are just left to reign and equates them to little, naughty “brats”. Everyone blames you for being a failure of a parent, but what they don’t know is that many a day we already feel like we are failing our children. Because what people don’t see is the immense pressure on our shoulders to raise these kids without breaking their spirit. You see, the way we raise them determines whether they will one day make or break the world, because they are capable of doing both. We need to shape them, without taming them and it takes special people to discipline them, because they are louder than you, stronger than you, they push back hard, and they are not afraid to speak up and out. We fight, they fight and somehow we need to try and find a balance – we need them to fit, without really fitting in, we need them to be polite without silencing their voice, and we need them to use their fight and natural energy for the good, for what is important and right.
So, here I am – I am a proud mom of a wild child and NO I wont change him, I refuse to tame him, and I CHOOSE to treasure and love those wild edges of him. See, I want to walk this journey with him, and help him become who he is meant to be, instead of some perfect version of someone else’s imagination, even if it’s the hardest thing I’ll ever do. I will encourage my little explorer to go on as many adventures possible, and even join him in some. I’ll happily jump over couches of lava, and swim in the muddy carpet sea, because I know that these little adventures are good for his soul (and secretly mine as well). I’ll embrace running barefoot, being chased by dinosaur trees, and I’ll admit that watching ants, finding geko’s and catching worms or spiders made me fall in love with nature all over again. I will give him the freedom to make decisions, fail and to learn right from wrong with me right by his side. I will allow him to make mistakes, and messes, but I won’t try to push him into a little mold. I will embrace his unpredictability and I’ll watch in awe as he pushes every boundary placed before him, because I want him to stay fearless and to go beyond and above what we see as comfortable and known. But most of all I will encourage him to be true to his own self, I will assure him that blending in is overrated and that God created him to be a light in the dark and not to fade into the shadows. I will promise him that he is an original, unique, rare, yet perfect masterpiece that will one day be admired by those same eyes of disgust, judgement and disapproval. I will remind him that he was born to dance to the beat of his own heart, to roam without cages, with the innocence of a child, and the free spirit of untamed horses. I will hope that he laughs without stopping, live with abandon and love like that’s all there is. I will tell him to stay wild, my wild wild child.
To my fellow wild child mommies – I know that parenting can be hard and that sometimes the load feels just too much to bare, I know the glares and whispers can make you feel like a failure or unworthy parent, but please remember this: YOU were chosen for this job, You were handpicked out of millions for this one individual and only you know what’s best for YOUR child! You are amazing, you are worthy, you are strong, you are brave – you are the mother of a wild child and its an honor!
I am your mother,
You are my child.
I am your quiet place,
You are my wild.
I am your calm face,
You are my giggle.
I am your wait,
You are my wiggle.
I am your bedtime,
You are my wide-awake
I am your lullaby,
You are my Peek-a-boo
I am your goodnight kiss,
You are my I love you.
I love you my wild, wild child