So, a month ago, yesterday, I was teaching.
And my daughter, Maggie, was in the class.
On the surface, that is a totally simple, relevant, and expected consequence of being a mom and being a teacher. It might be kind of predictable that one day my adult daughter would wander in to The School of Womanly Arts and take my program, Mastery.
But, that is not the case, here.
Which you probably already know if you are a mom or a daughter. Because the very last place on earth that a young woman might want to end up is in a classroom, led by her actual mother.
Especially when the topic turns to pussy, and such like.
I don’t know about you, but when I was coming up, the last place on earth that I wanted to find myself was anywhere near anything that had anything to do with my mom.
As the next generation does, we all push against our parents’ value systems to help build and recreate our own. We often can see or experience the mistakes and the errors of the generation before us, and we push away in an effort to find our own true north. This push away is how I launched myself on the trajectory of creating The School of Womanly Arts. The push is a real and needed and valuable part of growing up.
My daughter is growing up in one of the most difficult, hostile, and complex times. Our millennials have been raised with technology that exceeds the brain’s ability to process information. Our girls have been sexualized since they left diapers. Gun violence in the US is out of control. The planet they inhabit has been so desperately devastated that the very future of the earth is in peril.
I know that there is a way I can never really understand the complexity of the experience of what it means to be a young woman in this world, today.
I know I can’t possibly comprehend the enormity of how a young woman finds herself, much less stays connected to herself, when the very world around her, and the greater culture of community seems to be unravelling.
But all of those many complex layers make up Maggie’s home plate.
It is my heartbreak that I wish it were different.
It is my suffering that I am out of agreement with the way the world is, right now.
The reason Maggie showed up was that this is the very last Mastery. That, plus she was having some very real, very painful challenges in her own life. Of course, for the past few years all of our circle of adult “sister goddess” girlfriends have been tugging at her, wondering if and when she would choose to take my program for women. The answer has always been ‘no’. It just wasn’t time. Until now.
One of the reasons why it is so outrageously amazing to have her there, for me, is that I had totally come to terms with the fact that it was not only possible, but, quite likely, that Maggie would never ever choose to come to Mastery. Despite the fact that, as I describe, in Pussy: A Reclamation, the creation of The School of Womanly Arts was essentially inspired by her, and for her. Despite the fact that my mom has shown up for every session of Mastery, and has taken on the beloved role of the Bubbe to every woman in the room who needs a lap to crawl in or a shoulder to cry on.
I let the dream of Maggie’s attending go, because I know there is something way more powerful than my wishes for her. And that is her destiny. Her desires. Her true north. Which has nothing to do with me. Part of raising her is that I had to learn to trust her. To trust her mistakes, her ruptures, her raptures. To trust her path as the highest and best for her. To watch her fly, and crash, and take flight again, in her perfectly imperfect way.
And that means I have to learn to trust myself. That I did enough. That I am enough. That I gave her everything she ever needed and then some. That even the ways I f***ed up, hurt her, lost her, found her, broke her heart, and loved her with a passion that is bigger than I am are good. I have to trust that I am good. Because if I am good, then she is good. No matter what.
Yes, I created the SWA for Maggie. I needed to love someone so much that I was forced to grow into trusting myself. So that she could set me free, as I set her free. “You are amazing, you are incredible, you are enough” is a gift I give myself when I bestow that blessing on her.
Regena Thomashauer, aka “Mama Gena”
The School of Womanly Arts
Regena is a feminist icon, a teacher, a speaker, a mother, a best-selling author, and creatrix and CEO of The School of Womanly Arts.