As soon as I held my little baby in my arm on the night she was born, I experienced something I've never felt. Perhaps it was "LOVE". Unconditional one. As the little girl grows older, my expectations grow as well. "She can be something and changes the world." Whatever she did in her childhood was a miraculous progress to me and formed my belief that she would make a beautiful butterfly. As she marched into her teenage era, suddenly my perception towards her was questioned. My little girl started acting out in a way that I had never seen, trying to rip off the colors and patterns I have painted on her wings. Panic came in. My Project - Get her back on the "right track"- launched. What I failed to remember was she was a different person from myself, although she carries some gene from both of her biological parents. She is a beautifully complex human-being who has unique characteristics and is capable of being responsible for her choices. It took me a year to really realize what she needs, wants and her potentials. I knew this kind of humanistic perspective and studied in my research paper. It has also been my philosophy for everything I do. But I was trapped with the blindness of socially constructed "rightness" of parenting. But this type of discipline tends to be conditional. By definition, Love should be unconditional, but my actions and words towards my daughter contradicted my belief. I tried to stop her before she stumbled without knowing how my supports deprive her of developing her potential. While I struggled to put her in the perceived rightness of mine, she suffered and lost all the motivations to live as who she was. We were stuck in a socially constructed box of rightness and almost choked to death.
The good news of human tendency is when you are in the darkness, instinctively you search for the light. And I knew from my experiences, my experienced mum friends are the light to reach. So I did.
By some of big slaps on my silly face, my senses came back and started breathing again. With the opened up senses, I managed to listen to my daughter's current voice. It wasn't fully convincing or the best choice under her circumstances, yet it was her choice. "I don't want to go to the private high school. I want to go to a public high school in this city."
My inner dialog had been just too ugly to publish. It was as if two characters fight within myself: Maternal instinct vs Socially constructed right parenthood. But fortunately the feeling I held her in my arms for the first time, the maternal instinct prevailed. Thanks to all of my friends for offering the insightful comments and the courage I needed to say, "Oh-oh. I was wrong It is not my job to color and paint her wings".
From the moment I admitted my error, I was quick enough to call all the institutions and experts to support my daughter's decision. From April, my daughter will wear a different uniform and goes to a local junior high school. I don't know if this is the "right" move or not. Besides, any radical reformations take a bit of the aches. She might have to suffer from the different types of aches. But avoiding errors and aches does not resolve anything. In fact, it numbs the youthful hearts and souls leaving them only colorless life. By giving a freedom to make errors and experience aches, the youth may come out from their cocoons and become uniquely beautiful butterflies.
What I wish to see is the day when my daughter flies away like a butterfly, whatever the colors and patterns she may chose to wear.