May 09 2010
With Mother’s Day arriving, my oldest daughter Cassie and I were talking about childhood memories. Through the years her memories of how things happened and my memory of the same incidents hasn’t always concurred. It used to make us both unhappy because we each knew we were right. Accusations can too easily arise at such times, along with hurt feelings and/or a sense of being devalued. In the end I believe it is a mother’s place to validate her children whether or not event memories can be harmonized.
Validating someone is not the same as agreeing with them. Rather, it acknowledges another person’s inherent worth while accepting their unique viewpoint in life. An old story is told about three wise men that were blindfolded and led, one at a time, to an elephant. Upon being asked to determine what was before them, the first man grasped the elephant’s trunk and concluded, “It is a snake.” The second man put his arms around one of the elephant’s legs and announced, “No, you are wrong. It is a tree!” The last man felt the tail and declared both other men wrong. “How could you miss it? It is a rope!” Once their blindfolds were removed they were amazed to see that it was in fact an elephant. Though not inaccurate in what they had experienced, each had missed a greater reality.
So why ever argue about memories, or anything else for that matter? My daughter may “remember” the hard tip of a tusk while I “recall” a ropey tail (which I have felt like I’ve been at the end of at times!). When day has slipped to darkness, what matters is that we are alive and remain present in each other’s life.
There are lovely Clemitis growing on a trellis in CiCi’s Garden that look very different during the day than they do at dusk. In daylight their purity is startling . . .
. . . while back-lit in the evening, they glow.
Owing to the fact that all experience is a process, no point of view can ever be the last one. ~ William James
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!