Parenting practice

Here is a practice:

Observe your child enter the room

Say nothing

Consider yourself at your child’s age

Say nothing still

(If they ask you a question or request something, respond

minimally, just enough – you might have to put off the practice

for later – there will be many chances, believe)

Feel the back of your body

Sense your soft liquid self going right to the back

Still, remain quiet

Imagine what the person you were (and still are)

might most have wished to know about themselves

when they were constantly under the scrutiny

of the person who provided house and home, life and limb

Consider the privilege of knowing

this person, in front of you, now

who’s choice will, inevitably, be

to go away from that scrutiny, so that they can expand more fully

Feel again, the full volume

of you – how you have made this space

for yourself

to live in

Feel how your eyes/ ears/ tongue/ hands

can turn and soften, to touch within

There is that younger you,

just there – feel, where?

And, across the room

is someone entirely else

Can you look with new eyes?

If you do:

who

do

you

see,

please?

Published by Devon Riley

Teacher, mother, plant person, film photographer, modern buddhist, intersectional feminist. I keep a journal, take hikes, love women, have a husband, make dinner daily.

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