03/01/2013 04:33 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Parenting Young Adults: My Daughter and I Are Like Wild Horses

My daughter and I sit in parallel agitation. She is frustrated. I am too. She wants her freedom. I want mine too. We want the same thing, this freedom; only we see it through very different eyes. We are ready for very different experiences as women of passion.

She is not stronger than me yet and I hold her back trusting my intuition. She bashes up against me in emotional rage unable to separate from me completely, yet, trusting her intuition to find her own way. "You hold me back!" she says. "And you hold ME back", I think before I choose not to speak.

When she is ready for the freedom she craves our separation will be gentle. Her transitions have always been gentle when she was ready. She has always wanted to be ready before her time. She has taught me how to mother her very well. I learned to listen to her carefully.

THIS is not gentle. She is afraid of her power. She is not ready. Maybe I am not either. Maybe I am a little afraid of who I could be without my children. Hence, our agitation.

She is now 21. And I am now 60. She is ready to gather her experiences. I am ready to create beauty with mine. Her energy for her readiness is as boundless as my own. We are so similar and so very different.

We are quite the pair, my daughter and I.


We are two women who feel like wild horses confined in a space that is too small for the both of us. We are trapped by an imaginary fence we cannot quite jump over or break through with the unbridled power of life longing for itself in full expression. This undeniable power pulses through our veins. And we are provoked.

We are powered by this full moon. We are challenged by the natural rhythms of the seasons. It is not quite spring and the late winter snows keep us back and keep us together. We are divinely feminine and want the freedom to create life. And we are without patience.

We stand next to each other prancing about, throwing our heads back and flaring our nostrils trying to breathe in all the air we can possibly hold. We are quivering and tensing our muscles as we yearn to run free. And we are stuck.

Our spirits cry out for the freedom we can hear, see, smell and sense that is just beyond this barricade. And we are furious!

She is a young adult. I am a young elder. We are held together a while longer by love, by ambiguity, by time and by divine perfection.

Soon there will be a quickening and the time will be right for us to bust out of our confinement and run free. Still parallel, I know, but free from the tether that has held us together so tightly.
I pray she is faster , stronger and more loving than I by then.

I never felt this way with my son. Our bond is different. We need each other differently. If I am the wild horse he is the wind that moves through my mane. There is friction at times, of course, but no tension. There is no need to break away. We sit in parallel contentment.

I am beginning to understand the distinction between parenting a child and parenting an adult. It is the ripening of this experience that I never could have anticipated. I deeply love it just as much as loved parenting my infant children. Who will I be when we are all free? I dwell in that anticipation, a little trepidation and gratitude each day.

Thank you, Creator, for her life.
Thank you, Creator, for his life.
Thank you, Creator, for my life.
Thank you for Creator our lives together.

Schedule a private, 30-minute conversation now with Martha to discover where you are holding yourself back and how life coaching, specifically circle of life coaching, can help you step into your power and brilliance. Click here to TalkwithMartha.

For more by Martha Pasternack, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.