An Unexpected Gift

Something magical happened this week.  Our dear daughter (DD) our one and only, shared a gift of insight which I’m still thinking about.  Watching our once-upon-a-time wee one evolve and mature, becoming fully herself has been the privilege of a lifetime. Sometimes the journey’s been sprinkled with sweetness and sunshine like the teacup ride at Disneyland…other times it’s been more akin to Thunder Mountain. 😉 Just when I think I’m filled to the brim with mama gratitude, DD surprises me with something new.  

We didn’t intend for our girl to be an only, but we’re grateful, nonetheless. Parenting is a privilege and one that I’ve never taken for granted based on my own swirly childhood experiences. Every family faces hardships of some sort but in my familia, my mother suffered from layers of dysfunction, impacting her ability to parent. 

It was hard to know which version of “mom”/Sue we’d be dealing with each day, but I navigated.  More importantly, I survived.  What I knew for sure?  Sue wasn’t a mom to model myself after.  Nope.  I was flying blind most of the time, quick to consult with trusted girlfriends and confidantes to bring reconnaissance back to the hubby, hopeful we might avoid making BIG parenting mistakes. I can hear some of you chuckling.  It doesn’t matter; mistakes happen because it’s part of the carnival ride that is parenting. 

Looking back, I realize the sleuthing I did — looking for the how to’s for the what ifs’ – was unnecessary.  Motherhood, it turns out, is about leaning into instincts, the natural bits of who I am…who I’ve always been…and trusting that good intentions and an open heart would steer me around the landmines.

But here comes the good stuff I promised.  Our grown girl, our darling daughter, “DD” texted me the other day and said she understood, for the first time, my pronounced waves of worry and fear when she was thousands of miles away in college.  Hmm…something’s brewing…deep stuff on DD’s mind, I thought.  I love the quick check-ins via texting, but her message prompted a mommy-need for a conversation.  So I called – and she answered! 😉

DD had an epiphany.  Someone she loves was on a mega trip, traveling around the globe on an epic adventure.  She helped him pack, excited about his once-in-a-lifetime vacation, and all was well for the first few days after he departed.  Despite the distance, they connected a time or two but when it was time for his return trip – a trains, planes and automobiles journey that would take several days – DD woke with a wave of anxiety that she couldn’t shake.  Her pervasive thought was “He’s gonna miss his fight.  I can feel it.”

Sweet DD was slow to admit it, but she knows I’ve got a pretty good track record when it comes to dealing with nausea-like waves of unexpected dread, foretelling something.  From time to time, when she was in college, I’d feel a swirl of unsettledness…’something’s not right’, prompting me to text her. Typically, she’d dodge me…then totally ghost me as she tried to hide the truth about the mishap of the moment.  Late with the rent?  Apartment flooded? Lost her wallet? Calamity with boyfriend #1, #2, #3?  

DD learned that icing me out didn’t prevent her mama bear from oddly ‘tuning in’, feeling a fuzzy sense of discomfort when her life went sideways, despite the 2000 miles separating us. Prior to this week, she only spoke about my sixth sense as ‘annoying as hell’ you know, due to my accuracy. 😉

DD had a table-turning moment.  For the first time, she said, she understood how difficult it was for me to dismiss an onslaught of menacing, sometimes illogical emotions. She described her unsettled feelings as invaders.  Intruders lacking manners as they arrived uninvited, unannounced.  

The brand of malaise that DD felt spooked her.  She knew (in her bones, she said) when she woke that morning that her friend was about to miss his first flight, the pivotal lead-off leg of a three-day journey homeward.

Rattled and exhausted, she tried to shake off the feeling when her dear one texted, “I missed my flight”.  Sure, it’s a recoverable mishap.  Inconvenient, but not uncommon.  He rebounded and patched together a Plan B, but DD?  She was overwrought, wondering how her oddball sense of dread translated into fact.

Who knows how or why scattered bits of intel from the universe arrive, without warning.  Do patterns of overthinking allow anxiety and worry to manifest and run amok? I’ve learned to begrudgingly accept my intuitive quirks as gifts – reminders that control IS an illusion and mystery is okay.  Keep calm and carry on?  Yes, but I often edit that witticism a bit:

Keep Calm

Carry On


Listen Up

Trust Your Gut

I loved the full circle moment with DD this week, her outreach to say, ‘Mom, I get it’.  Her experience with an odd, prophetic feeling reminded her that her momma wrestled with something similar as I worried about her during her college years. Just when I thought motherhood had served up every imaginable blessing, a new one arrived.  Grateful I am, for this week’s “Unexpected Gift”.

Vicki ❤

P.S. Pop over to my personal blog, Victoria Ponders to learn more about intuition…I’ve got a feeling you might like that post, too.

39 thoughts on “An Unexpected Gift

  1. beautiful Victoria. It must be moments like these that bring you closer together. And yes, that unsettling feeling can be a nightmare. I hope DD’s friend got home safely after his 3 days of travelling

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  2. Whether it’s the universe, a guardian angel, something within us, or some external entity, I really do believe we all have access to the radio chatter of the universe, if we just tune into the right station. Trusting our gut is some important and, more often than not, leads us to exactly where we need to be. I’m so happy for you and DD that you were able to experience that “full circle” moment. 🥰

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Whoa…so many good things in your comment, Erin! Full circle moment? Yes! And the notion of ‘radio chatter’ in the universe and filtering…finding the right “station”? Love every bit of that. Thank you so much. 💕💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this sentence, “Prior to this week, she only spoke about my sixth sense as ‘annoying as hell’ you know, due to my accuracy.” Hee, hee! What a beautiful gift of parenting and full-circle understanding for the two of you!

    I wonder if our ancestors – the ones before the age of Enlightenment that convinced us that we should be relying on reason and before the Internet – if those ancestors had an easier time trusting their gut. While it seems like they did, I bet people have been doubting their dreams, feelings, and waves of discomfort for ages.

    Love the twist to “keep calm…” Yes, calm but tuned in! Great post, Vicki! ❤ ❤ ❤

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      1. Funny – we have criss-crossing comment threads because I went to your other post and saw the reference to Jonathan Haidt. I was just listening to him on a podcast this last week. What a lovely confluence of threads!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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  4. What a sweet story, Victoria and must’ve been worth the parenting wait!

    When I was a teen, I used to get so annoyed when my Pa would call and ask when I was coming home. And he told me I would understand when I’m a parent one day.

    Your story with your DD reminded me of those words.

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    1. Thank you so much, Ab — I love your Pa’s comment — “you’ll understand one day.” So true. Grateful to you for reading…and for the sweet remembrance you shared! 😉❤😉

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  5. Wow, Vicki… we have much in common, including a troubled and turbulent childhood and a need to rewrite the book entirely when it came to choosing what kind of parent you wanted to be. I deeply felt you when you said “I was flying blind most of the time”. I am always grateful to read about someone else who has travelled a similar path to my own. I remember feeling so alone, in my early parenting years most especially. I had NO idea what I was doing; I just knew what I DIDN’T want to do. And that ‘gift’ of intuition? Dang… My travelling premonitions are always ‘much ado about nothing’, thank goodness, but my own daughter did inherit – and has greatly improved on – my ability to ‘read’ people who give off bad energy and are not to be trusted. Alas, I have yet to hear “You were right, Mom” about much of anything, but hey, there’s still time 😀 In all seriousness, this made my heart very happy for you. Such moments are indeed treasures and I am so grateful that you shared this one…🙏🙏🙏

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Patti — what a gift you’ve given ME! Thank you for connecting with the topic and for the amazing comment. I think we have a few things in common, don’t we? How wonderful it is to meet a soul sister here in the blogging world – not just because of our shared experiences with ‘less than’ parenting but also our strong intuition and the fact that we both have daughters with skills in reading situations and people. I’m sure your daughter picked up those remarkable skills from you…and I’m sure the thank you 😉 will come at some point! For now, I’m sending big hugs and smiles!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Aw, even if she doesn’t ever say the words, I know she loves her Mama and that’s pretty much all that counts 🙂 Yes, I am always happy to meet a soul sister: such people are always a rare gift to a quiet, introverted and slightly quirky writer, and I never take that for granted 🙂💕🙏 Sending you hugs and smiles right back!

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  6. First- love the connection with your daughter and I also had to smile about the realization on her part that mom isn’t necessarily a bit unhinged at times in her intuitive moments 😉 They all eventually wake up and see themselves in us in ways they can never imagine! This post- such a great addition to Vicki Ponders, but also just a stand alone piece to wonder about, speculate on and dig deeper into what makes us who we are and how we use those gifts. It never fails Vicki- your posts always give me moments to pause and then pull out my reading list and start adding good stuff to explore and question. Thank you friend!

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    1. Deb….Deb….Deb. Thank you so much for all of that. You’re getting to know me – LOL – and you’re so right! Those moments when our dear daughter thought I was absolutely unhinged…yes, yes! But somehow, our girls love us anyhow? 😉 And your sweet compliment about the posts this morning? I’m so honored by your praise…I think the best thing about Heart of the Matter is the sharing we do — with writing buddies like you, and our terrific readers. Learning and growing. Grateful to YOU! 🥰💕🥰

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  7. mistakes happen because it’s part of the carnival ride that is parenting….great word picture! As a dad to 3 daughters (an son) Several of which happened to go through that season of rebellion all at the same time, I remember feeling like I was trying to cut my way through the Amazon jungle w/ a Machete, didn’t have a clue as to where I was going, then one day, we stumbled into a clearing, (and that part of the trip was over. We’d made it. Our oldest has also called our place or told us a time or two, that now she gets it…gets what she put us through (she is dealing with a young teen) Gave me a knowing smile. Parenting is a trip. A rich, exhausting, glad we did it, don’t think I have it in me to do it again trip. Thoughtful post. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Doug! Appreciate the feedback…and oh my goodness, yes — you’re providing awesome imagery yourself 😉 — parenting is akin to navigating the jungle with a machete — wow! I love your thought – “parenting is a trip”. Yes, yes! Big smiles to you for stopping by — happy Sunday! 😊😊😊

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  8. So much to like here! I can relate to flying blind! And like Patti chimed in, knowing what I didn’t want to do. Finally, it’s really cool when your kid’s come back and say they understand now! Oh, such a great feeling! Our daughter texted us out of the blue this week and asked if we wanted to talk. When I asked if something was wrong, she said no, I’m just like you guys, I like to check in, once in awhile! Enjoy the good feelings. Great job Mom!

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    1. I love your daughter’s ‘out of the blue’ text — just to check-in with mom and dad. What a beautiful thing that is…you and your wife must’ve felt like you were floating with all that goodness. Thanks much, Brian. Your daughter sounds delightful! 💕

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  9. What a wonderful gift on so many levels. Your daughter has your gift of a sixth sense, and her coming around to understand why you worry is lovely, too. You reminded me of a practice I used to have with my kids who live in Berkeley. Every morning we’d check in with a group text. They’d share a painting, photo, or something just so we’d know we were all alive and well! We got out of the habit, but text and talk most days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a beautiful tradition — sharing a little something just to check-in and say hello. I love that! Even if it’s just a pic as you said — a sweet, loving reminder across the miles. So good! Thanks much, Elizabeth! 😘

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      1. It was a college roommates idea who was visiting me three or four years ago. She did that every morning with her brothers and mother. It was mostly to check in on mom who was in her 80s.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. More and more I understand my parents’ worry, especially my father’s. I often think how hard it was for him, me being so far away, because now I am the parent. You and your DD have an intuitive thread that connects you. Part gift, part parenting I would guess. Lovely post, Vicki.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve learned to begrudgingly accept my intuitive quirks as gifts – reminders that control IS an illusion and mystery is okay.

    Same here, but it took a lot of effort to get to this point. And it’s easy to backslide.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Cheers to you for being a wonderful mother! I am sure you were always there to wipe her tears, hold her hand and offer emotional support without expecting anything in return. How sweet that she is now sharing her gift of ‘knowing’ with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary! What a kind thing to say. I feel lucky…she’s a good girl. Appreciate you for reading and for your lovely, lovely comment. Big hugs! 🥰


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