Brittany is a bit of a rare flower, and the powerful connection that I immediately felt with her goes much deeper than a shared first name. To see a young woman with such a balanced and steady sense of herself, and with such a solid footing as she enters motherhood is a truly beautiful thing. Of course, none of this came by chance, she has been very intentionally navigating a journey to self-discovery over the past few years, and it is this intentional path that has allowed the new role of motherhood to find a comfortable place in the rhythm. Brittany has made conscious choices to let go of anxiety and to embrace only that which adds meaning to her life.
One of the most striking things I noticed in conversation with Brittany was the answer she gave to my usual question about the most important gift that she can give to her little guy. It is a subject that often goes unnoted in our “children above all else” culture, but one that I have been thinking of a lot myself over the past few months. Brittany and her husband Kyle have placed a great deal of importance on cultivating a strong foundation for their relationship. The gift that they will give this family is the comfort of knowing that their love is unshakable, and that home will always be a safe space.
I see it as a logical but often ignored subject in relation to the popular topic of attachment parenting, the gist of which is that the more securely bonded a child is to his parents, the more confidently he will be able to go forth into the world. I have never actually noticed mention of the connection between a safe and attached parent/child relationship and the safe and confident environment created by a well maintained relationship between parents.
I am not the only child familiar with the turmoil of an unstable parental relationship. While I would obviously argue that I turned out just fine, imagining a childhood without that constant fear seems like some sort of utopia. The truth is, I have seen the way my daughters’ eyes light up when they see my husband and I show each other affection. The way that we lavish our children with cuddles and kisses and tickles clearly shows them the love that we have for them, so how would they not notice a discrepancy in the way we treat our spouses? I do not believe that “broken” homes will break our children, but I do know that the pain of a continually “BREAKING” home can be positively heartbreaking.
The way that Brittany sees it, putting the effort in up front to build a solid marriage, and doing the maintenance work as they go, means that their son will never face that fear that it is all going to fall apart, or worse, feel the burden of keeping face to keep it all together. With this safe space to return to always, he will be free to be imaginative, to take chances, and to go boldly into his life.
There will always be love to welcome him home no matter the outcome of his adventures.