I have a daughter whose spirit looks like a big, pink rose. She is so kind and creative. She embodies beauty, loyalty, conviction and love.
I am a ruiner. If something needs to be ruined, I can help you out with that. In general, I am a stomper, a thorn in your side and a walking catalyst for change — good or bad. I have the ability to enter a seemingly swell situation and accidentally turn it on its ear. I don’t mean to cause a ruckus. But once the ruiner in me comes out, it feels like I am a runaway train of destruction.
Tonight I managed to basically communicate to my daughter that she isn’t good enough, doesn’t try hard enough and is generally deficient in her ability to love and be loved. I promise you that that was not my intention.
What I was trying to do was let her know that I know who she is. I was TRYING to say that if she feels like she doesn’t finish stuff, she should remember that kid who always finished stuff. I was TRYING to remind her of that 7th grader who put her whole heart into a scrapbook-style history report. I was TRYING to help her remember how creative and industrious she is.
What I actually did, I think, was let her know that she should edit herself more when she’s around me.
Hannah and I are an unconventional duo. We have had a ton of fun. We’ve had some great adventures. And she’s had a rough couple of years. But I am now starting to see that me trying to be or do anything beyond being an available sounding board is counter-productive. My attachment to her clouds our interactions. She needs a rational adult to skillfully guide her and I am more like Lennie, accidentally smothering the puppy with his giant, clumsy hands.
A big part of my road to Excess Emancipation is to sort through my feelings about losing my little girl. If I’m really honest with myself, the “cloudiness” comes from that. I am devastated that she has grown up and her idea of a good time is no longer snuggling in bed with a movie or having me paint her nails. I knew this day was coming. I knew she wasn’t “mine” to begin with — but its still a bitter pill.
My hope for now is to come to terms with my obsolescence. I am seeking out a new plane from which to be her best mom. I can’t keep scooping her up every time she scrapes a knee. I am, at this point, hurting her by not allowing her to clean herself up. Or at the very least, allowing her to choose whether she would like my help or not.
My friend, Sonya, advised me the other day to “visualize myself sending her light and love” each time my worry wheel started whirring. I like the idea. What I know for sure is that this knot in my stomach doesn’t help anyone.
This week I am committed to listening more; keeping my mouth shut more; staying calm; and replacing the angst inside with light and love. I’ll let you know how it goes.