My daughter isn’t speaking to me. She’s turned off the tracker on her iPhone. She’s staying at her dad’s and she pretty much hates me. She has every right to. I let her down… If this doesn’t work itself out, it truly represents my biggest failure as a human being.
I can’t force myself on her. As Michael Bernard Beckwith of Agape Church would say “mother don’t smother.”
Sometimes, I’ve erred on the smother side, trying to make up for some things. But we have to allow our children to stand in the uniqueness of who they are, giving them space and honoring their boundaries when they ask for it.
There are a lot of parents who, in recovery, have to gently, patiently mend the damage the alcohol waged on their relationships with their kids.
And I mean it when I say, blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol. Because I would never do this to her, would never ignore or abandon her. I can still hear her voice on the other end of the phone, when she and her dad would call, while I was off flitting about on some far-reaching corner of the planet.
“Mommyyyyyyyy!! Mommyyyyyy!” Her sweet little sobs heartbreaking and yet sickeningly comforting. She misses me, she needs me. She craves my love. However, I could not force myself to be home, to be present.
People used to warn me: if you don’t stop, you’ll lose your daughter. And I would think: who the fuck do you think you are? How dare you say that me? You don’t know me — or my relationship with my daughter. We are special. We are tight. She understands I am a wild child. I was ignorant and arrogant.
Here I am, waiting for her to come back… burning myself up in the silver earthly fires of restitution.
Everyone always said Aria was amazing, so smart, so aware, such a spiritually gifted crystal child with a big purpose. She was so precocious, so adorable. I mean she was born at home on New Year’s Day! It doesn’t get much more auspicious than that.
There is nothing like your own DNA. There are moments in your life when your mind takes a snapshot just as mine did at the moment she came out of me. She looked up at me her face still blue, her black almond eyes wide open resembling a small alien.
Her dad looked at me and said seriously, “little alien baby.” My mouth twitched into a straight line. “I know.” Some deeper part of us knew she had traveled from some otherworldly realm to be here. We were honored. We didn’t understand fully, but we knew she was special.
Then there were the stories she’d tell us about her past lives. There were her parents, the yellow-haired people who were very short. “Everyone there was short with yellow hair,” she said, and she lived across the street from her best friend who was a boy, Junian.
And don’t even get me started about the one in Egypt, where she was the queen’s daughter, but one in secret and they had to burn her body with lasers when she died to remove any proof of her existence. “You were the queen mama,” she told me.
She would go into such depth and detail, I had to believe her.
During the times I was off partying, my heart would yearn for her. I would sit with a beer in my hand and maybe a cigarette, a tear sliding down my cheek, thinking: I’ve got to get sober so I can get back to Aria.
That’s all I have to do and everything will be okay. Aria needs me — I must do this for her, even more than for myself. My heart would ache and a new perforation would tear in my energetic field.
She’s going to have to wait, I’d tell myself. Mama will be home soon. I’m not done yet… after the High Sierra Music Festival, I’ll do it, I’ll get sober. No, wait, after Fiesta, yeah that makes sense or maybe by Christmas. Yep, I can definitely get it together by then.
And then the thief of time robbed us both of my daughter’s childhood.
I can never get that time back.
I cling to the memories of the times when she would attach herself to me like a baby monkey or barnacle when she would exhale her sweet angelic breath into my neck as she fell asleep. The times when we would sing together, our voices harmonizing perfectly and the times when we would laugh and play for hours. The love between us was so pure. And I was practically still a child myself.
I’ve spent so much time looking back. I want to go back in time. I want to defy the laws of the known universe so I can travel back and do it right. I want to course correct before it’s too late. It may be too late.
There’s a certain disdain teenagers feel for their parents. That combined with the damage I caused, and this is where we are.
“You only have a year sober,” my fourteen-year-old daughter said on Saturday. “That doesn’t fix anything.” We haven’t spoken since she uttered those words.
I am here, Aria, and I will wait for you. I know how wronged your heart must feel. I have felt that lack of forgiveness towards my parents too. That hatred blackens the heart, adding a heaviness that hardens like a rock right in the center of your chest. The chain of unforgiveness must be broken by us.
I have sat at the feet of many masters, but you continue to be the greatest teacher of them all.
I know you have that nature in you, for it shined forth in your very beingness from the time you were small.
The same light that shined in Jesus and Buddha and all of the awakened ones who came before us, showing us the way towards compassion and forgiveness. For they knew that if we could have done better sooner, we would have. And that perhaps, the precise reason why we came here, was to learn to forgive.
I don’t want to miss another day, not another moment with you… but I’ll wait in repentance.
I love you. I would crawl over crocodiles for you. I would sail the Seven Seas, even though I get seasick. I would climb a mountain so high with scraggly grey peaks capped in snow and ice breathing the thinnest kind of air, yet with the greatest kind of inner endurance.
I would do anything to be your second chance mama in this lifetime.
“I’m comin’ home I’m comin’ home
Tell the world I’m comin’ home
Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits and they’ve forgiven my mistakes”
— P. Diddy