The past 3 weeks have been a marathon of no-school, tardy mornings, and sick days. Also traveling, writing, photographing, searching, highlighting, more writing, deadlines, and Friday Night Lights. (Let’s just be honest.)
This weekend I was a grump, in true form. I have a mounting list of things I want and need to get done on top of deadlines and expectations I’ve set and promised. Sunday night comes around and I found myself complaining about the fact that I “had to spend the day with our seven year old tomorrow.”
Like a chore.
I didn’t really snap out of it until morning time when I realized I needed to show up. Not be mentally tackling the things I couldn’t actually tackle. Not constantly be checking in via my phone, or computer. I needed to sit still in the middle of the living room, with her, and build some leggo castles.
I think she felt the same way.
I really struggle with her sometimes, and I feel like a failure admitting this. But I struggle to connect, to let my anxiety go and remember what it was like to be seven in the first place. I annoyed the crap out of my siblings, got in trouble, was selfish and greedy. That’s normal. It’s also frustrating.
In my mind, we have a wonderful relationship but in reality I’m often gut-checked with how I’m coming across to her. I don’t mean to be the nagging Mom; “Clean your room, stop it, sit still, no, you can’t, I said no, LISTEN!”
I put weight on words or actions that weren’t there when she mentioned them. I analyze and over compensate conversations or questions.
And when Aaron tells me that when I’m not home, or absent for one reason or another, that she misses me? That she talks about how fun I am and how much she loves doing X,Y,Z with me?
I am always surprised.
Because I waste too much of my precious time with her being someone I don’t like very much. And yet, this is what she knows.
And I’m ashamed.
I needed these last 3 weeks to put a few things back into perspective in my life. In all areas of my life. And I definitely needed these past few Mondays with her, working it out and laying down my expectations or my list, to really experience her.
I’ve felt a sense of loss at each stage of her life, just when I get comfortable or used to a behavior, it all changes and I start over regaining competency.
Maybe that’s part of being a first-born, the parent’s right of passage to figuring this Molding thing out.
I’ll try to take this in stride, with a grain of salt.
Because the highlight reel of our lives so far? are Super Nova’s to the depths of my personal disappointments.
And her smile, that giggle, they’re the hidden valley to all of them.