Fanning the fire midweek, we are tossing you a spontaneous quote, question, or conundrum related to Monday’s post. We invite you to riff on this prompt or share a story—heartbreaking or hilarious—to spark further conversation about the path of motherhood.

Yes, that’s me and Oriah, crowned in underwear.  We are in the midst of potty training now, an exploration of sovereignty as much as anything else.  We went so long with Jordan with potty training, I didn’t want to repeat the same thing with Oriah.  Sometimes it does seem like you have to force the issue a bit.  When I got back from India, I thought it would be the perfect time to introduce potty boot camp, which consists of taking off Oriah’s pants and letting her run around bare-bummed.

She was down with it the first day, making it to the potty once in five times—significant progress.  The next day, though she was not having it.  She held it all in from early in the morning till late in the afternoon, scared of her potty. We caved after that. Now potty training is on her terms, and she is much more open to it.

Toddlers and Will.  It comes out full force around the body, and I guess ultimately it’s a good thing—the ability to assert one’s own power, the chance to separate by claiming “no,” the testing the boundaries of impact. Bring it, Oriah! I crown you Queen of the Angry Birds.

On another note—potty talk aside—here is another definition of sovereignty that I love:

The ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor of the self, the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.”    —David Whyte

The privilege of being seen by someone.  I think that is my work as a mother: to see into the essence of my children, and proclaim it royal.