In my life right now I find myself wrapped up in a lot of pain and heartache. Some from a marriage that is struggling to communicate effectively at times. Some from old wounds being revisited. Some from new events that I have yet to process, others from a frustration with myself and the way I struggle to put my feelings into thoughts sometimes. Today the combination of all of these things came out in actions that were less than impressive.
You see, I came home from work and it must have been obvious that I was hurting. My two year old greeted me at the door and hugged me tightly while kissing my cheek to tell me she had missed me all day. I cried as she squeezed me because, well sometimes a two year old can do that to you. After dinner she snuggled up on my lap and continued to offer comfort by running her fingers through my hair and offering endless snotty nosed kisses (the best kind of course). She muttered the words “you okay mommy?” And the tears continued to flow as I told her I was okay. Whether or not I believed those words at that moment, I knew it was the right thing to say. At least I thought it was.
It wasn’t long before I continued to lay there holding her and wondering why it was so hard for me to just say “no baby, mommy isn’t okay, but we’re gonna all get through this together.” I wondered why I wasn’t more honest or why I was trying to hush her concerns instead of embracing them and showing her I appreciated her taking notice. I quickly found myself frustrated and had to step out of the room. At this point, my two year old began crying and asking “where did mommy go?”. I sat in the other room listening to her cry and wept because it pained me to hear. I wept because while my two year old was trying to comfort me, I just wanted the hurt and heartache to minimize long enough to take a deep breath and calm down. I wept because I realized that my building of anger was interpreted by her as a reaction to her attempt at loving on me. I wept because that isn’t what I wanted my daughter to see in that brief moment.
You see, I want my daughter to grow up knowing I’m not mad at her for being assertive of my feelings. I want my daughter to know that sometimes we are broken individuals and that doesn’t make us weak. I want my daughter to see me or her daddy cry and know that joy comes in the sorrow. I want my daughter to see hope in pain instead of only heartbreak. I want my daughter to learn that empathy is a welcomed trait and that genuine love and concern is what builds intimacy, even between a two and twenty-something year old.
As a parent, sometimes I’m so grateful for do-overs. But honey, until I get it right, please remember, mommys not mad at you.