The other day before we started playing hide and seek, Welly looked at me with his soul eyes and said, “Mama if I get lost, will you always always find me?”
“Yes Baby. Always.”
And while he ran off to find his perfectly obvious hiding spot in a cardboard box, my heart felt the weight of that question.
Yes! That is it, isn’t it? That is all we have to do. Perhaps the big work of our lifetime is to keep finding each other, over and over when we got lost and disconnected.
I remember what my parents would tell me at Disneyland or the shopping mall or the woods: If you get lost, stay right where you are. Don’t fight it. Don’t scramble around. We’ll come to you and it’s so much harder to find a moving target.
I used to think my job was to not get lost in the first place, or to control everything for the people that I love so they would never get lost. Especially with my kids. Somehow I thought that my job was to love them perfectly and the weight of that almost put me under. My fear of failure is what caused me to check out. It’s so hard to show up everyday in my imperfections and say, “Here I am. This is the best I can do and I’m offering it to you.”
Even (and especially) in my failures and struggles, I am teaching my kids about real life. We’re stumbling around, misunderstanding, taking things personally, and sometimes living out of old wounds. That is the reality of this world.
We’re lost and found a million times every day, but more times than that, we’re reaching for each other. It’s the reaching that matters. Again and again, we’re showing up when we feel like checking out. We’re trusting and drawing close when we feel like lashing out, or repairing things after we do. We’re finding our way back and making new pathways to each other.
That is the work of finding and being found. That is the work of love.