In your life, what have you claimed or reclaimed?
Today my daughter and I had a conversation about what it would be like if she were to disappear tomorrow. Given that she is nine and reading phantom tollbooth it would be a simple conversation to overlook. Yet, given that she is nine and suffered serious trauma and neglect in her young life I’ve learned to respond to such moments with careful attention. In particular, she wondered how I would react to her disappearance. Before I answered I asked her what she thought I would do. She figures I would be really quiet and sad. Of course, I agreed that I would be very sad and I went on to say I would very noisily turn the world upside down to find her. To which she responded “hmm… interesting” then ducked her head trying to hide her smile. Off and on throughout the day she keeps bringing this idea up and I keep doing little enactments of what I would be like (looking all over the house trying to find her and upon finding her sweeping her up with great fawning drama!)
Yet again, I find myself struck by what I call the “work of reclamation” that exists in my daughter’s life. Time and again it seems she revisits and evaluates if she is a person worth finding, worth loving. A few minutes ago my daughter brought up the earlier conversation again and my son interjected “but, mom, what if it was against the law to go looking?” Before I responded my daughter said “that would be a terribly stupid law! Mom loves us more than a stupid law!” (then she snuck a look at my face to see if she was right). Such a response gives me hope. In her reaction I see her take another step towards reclaiming a sense of self that is worthy of love and belonging.
It wouldn’t surprise me if there are many of us who have fought (and still fight) hard to claim or reclaim parts of our personhood. Maybe we can encourage each other through the sharing of our stories. So, have you (are you) reclaiming or claiming something in your life?