The facilitator, who is a psychologist, asked for an example of a time that provides us frustration with our kids and I volunteered that Riley exasperates me by taking forever on the potty. So we tapped. We tapped and tapped and the facilitator encouraged the other mothers to apply their own situations to the exercise. As we tapped along, she said different things,
"Riley takes forever on the potty but I'm okay."
"It's not the end of the world if we're late."
"She's trying her best even when she takes a long time."
Tap, tap, tap, this is stupid.
Then, "I forgive myself for being frustrated with Riley on the potty."
Tap, tap, tap...lump in my throat.
"No one taught me how to mother this child."
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tears.
"We're doing the best we can, Riley and me."
"Even though I get frustrated with Riley, I'm still a good person."
Tap. Tap. Tap.
"I'm still learning."
"I am so grateful for this child and all we're learning together."
"I forgive myself."
"I love this baby."All five of us "special needs" moms were reaching for the tissues.
Then she led us through a meditation in which we imagined a safe place, and invited our child to join us.
"What would your child say to you?" she asked.
In my mind Riley entered the space and with her big eyes, silently, soul to soul my sweet girl said, "Thank you Mommy."