I am always proud of her.
Even more so in the midst of her mistakes or in her “meltdown” moments. Many times I look at her and think she is nothing like me. For one thing, she is amazing at math and even though I am an accountant I am ANTI -amazing at math. In fact, I have been the butt of numerous math related jokes.
But other times she is so much like me it hurts…
When my daughter was younger she went through a phase where she would start screaming out of anger. I would tell her if she wanted to scream to do it in her room, preferably into her pillow, so I didn’t have to listen to it. I would always follow that with, “I am here to listen when you have calmed down enough to talk.” It was hard because everything in me wanted to hold her. Instead I just stepped over the blubbering mess at my feet and continued whatever I was doing. Luckily, that phase didn’t last long.
Then there was the whining phase. Her whining voice was the most precious and sweet voice ever. I have it on tape somewhere and it makes me melt every time I hear it. I miss that baby voice. But it was a bad habit. I only knew one way to get her to stop. I would say, “I can see your lips moving but my ears can’t hear that frequency.” I would continue to pretend not hear her until she stopped whining and talked in her normal voice.
There were times she would get so angry she wanted to hit something and I would say, “If you have to hit something I won’t stop you but it has to be the punching bag or your bed. It has to be something safe for everyone including you”. One night she walked in with her pillow and said, “Mom, I really need you to do me a favor and hold this for a minute really tight.” I held the pillow as she proceeded to punch all her frustration out. When she finished I asked her what was wrong and we had a nice long talk about mean kids. “No honey your arms are not too hairy”.
She spent this weekend participating in back to back slumber parties. I knew she would be an emotionally exhausted when she got home Sunday evening. I wasn’t feeling well and was lying in bed when she came to lay with me. I helped her under the covers and said,“Get some rest honey, you’ve had a long weekend.”
Her dad was making dinner and singing a nonsensical song, like he does when he is in a good mood, when she stormed in to tell him to please be quiet she is trying to sleep. He told her to shut the door so she stormed back into the room with me. I said, “Honey, you need to just calm down because daddy is just busy making dinner.” (Which by the way never happens but it was a lovely change of pace) She asked what was for dinner and when I answered stir fry she buried herself deep under the covers. MOANING!
“If you are going to moan about dinner please do it your room”. She jumped out of bed to go to her room and when her dad asked her what was wrong she ignored him. Well, that didn’t go over so well! So I braced myself for a monster tantrum. After her dad yelled at her I heard her answer. A few moments passed and I heard the back door open and shut. My daughter we stomping into the back yard. She was sitting on the stairs with her head in her hands.
These are the moments I see myself in her…
These are the moments I relate to her best and my heart hurts. She was too upset to look at me as I walked out and knelt in front of her. I took the first picture at the top with my cell phone because, besides being beautiful, she was relaying so much feeling in that moment. I simply said, “I love you” and she started bawling.
You see… I knew that pose. I knew that stance all too well. It was the first time she said I FEEL ALONE and it was all in her body language. In that moment no words needed to be exchanged. I sat next to her and said it is ok to put yourself in time out. It is ok to be upset, angry, hurt, tired and emotional. But it is not ok to feel ALONE. It is not ok because you are not alone and you will never be alone. I am always here. You my love are NEVER ALONE. She finished crying and said, “I just hate disappointing people and sometimes I can’t talk because I don’t know what to say and dad gets mad and ….” The conversation lasted about 15 minutes and we finished with hugs and I love you’s.
Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone. ~ Paul Tillich
She made a bed on the couch and watched Leave It To Beaver and after a while she asked if she could take a hot bath and have some hot tea. I LOVE HER TO PIECES. In the end, I hope I can teach her how to handle her emotions. I hope she never feels alone and that she always knows she can talk to me. She will know I am not perfect and that she doesn’t have to be either. That she won’t always like my decisions but she will always know there is a reason behind them and that those reasons will always be born out of my love for her.
I am proud of her for stepping back and taking herself outside to calm down. I taught her to always step away until she could get her emotions under control. What she does when she steps away is up to her. But I worry sometimes that in those moments she will feel alone because I feel alone in those moments. I guess I just want her to know if she needs someone to hold her hand as she takes a breath she always has mine. No words…just companionship.