Friday, August 30, 2013

Universal Truths

The other night I did something incredibly stupid.  Something that I never do.   I lied to my daughter.  It was a lie meant to protect her.  She was worrying about something and I lied about the chain of events in order to have her not worry one minute longer.  Incredibly stupid I tell you.  In my defense I was EXHAUSTED!  I was frustrated that she, beyond her control, worries about every little thing.  I just wanted to fix her; make it all right.  So I lied.

At the exact moment I lied I remembered that I was dealing with Little Miss Sherlock Holmes. After all,  she was Daphne from Scooby Doo one year for Halloween;. she has the credentials.   She was determined to piece this mystery together.  

After 10 minutes of non stop interrogation from her I caved.  I am a tough mama, but honestly I was a little afraid she was going to move on to torture tactics.   After all, she has a little brother; she has the credentials.  So, I confessed.  I gave her the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  I explained to her WHY I did what I did.  She took it all in and began to process this information with a silence that scared the crap out of me; I just knew she was deciding my punishment during that silence.  What she said next was all it took for me to learn my lesson.  What she told me I will carry in my heart for the rest of my life:

She said, "You know when you tell a lie the universe knows and you will be found out.  You cannot escape a lie."  Whoa, when did she become so philosophical?  She then proceeded to say, "Plus you are my mom; I trust you, I need you, so you can't lie to me ever again".  I told you she was trained in torture tactics.  I think it would have felt better had she physically ripped my heart out or knocked the wind out of me with a sucker punch.  

I learned two very important lessons that night.  1. I cannot fix her.  I cannot stop her worry, I cannot control her anxiety, I cannot make the pain of what she deals with on daily basis go away.  I can, however, give her the tools (and the truths) she needs to work through her worry, anxiety, and stress.  2. Never! Ever! Never!  lie to a girl who watches Scooby Doo, reads mysteries, and has a little brother.

She is my daughter; she trusts me,  I need her, and I can't lie to her ever again.  That is the universal truth.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Same Time Next Year

It's that time of year again, back to school time.  Which means it's my crying time.  I am, as I am every year, an emotional mess.  I am not the typical mom who cheers the first day of school, I don't do cartwheels at the bus stop, and I don't bask in all of that uninterrupted quiet time I get for 7 hours a day/5 days a week.  Okay, that last one is a lie; I really do enjoy that part.   It's also that time of year when teachers, mommy-bloggers, and positive parenting sites put out these amazing tutorials, blogs, and essays.  They are all such amazing writers (whom I envy) who's stories make me cry.

Our summers are always well spent.  Just the right amount of everything.  We were busy.  We were lazy.  We enjoyed hours at the pool, hours in front of the tv, hours being together.  We kept up with doctor's appointments, play dates, and summer camps.  We did the go go go thing, and we did the stay in our PJs until noon and not the leave the house thing.  Every minute together was perfect.  Except for the few "my kids-are-not-perfect-I-sometimes-lose-it" times.   

I feel like summer is my chance to watch them grow.  If you have children in school then you know that nights and weekends are usually a blur.  For us summer vacation is a chance to slow down, enjoy more family time, and watch them grow.  And just like every summer vacation from school it comes to an end before I am ready.  It happens every year.  Of course when this new school year comes to a close I will have seen them grow even more.  It happens every year.  The whole watching them grow thing is a bittersweet reminder that they are not my babies anymore.  

Tonight I will cry (tears of sadness) for the end of summer.  Tomorrow I will cry (tears of pride) putting them on the bus.  Tomorrow night I will cry (tears of exhaustion) as we come down off that first day back.   Just as I did last year and just as I will next year.  It happens every year.  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Wrecking Crew

I never thought cleaning my kids' rooms would move me to tears.   We all know legos and colored pencils can cause tears when stepped upon but, simply picking them up...who knew:

Dear Son,
You have two lego tables and approximately 9,000 legos, so it is no surprise that they simply cannot all be contained and must spill out ALL OVER your floor.  As I picked up today I realized that in a few short years this phase will be over and we won't be tripping over, stepping on, and dancing like a maniac around all of the legos.  You're growing up and one day, all too soon, you'll be moving on from lego houses to dorm rooms to your first apartment.  I am totally NOT cleaning any of those, your father was a bachelor once and eww!

Dear Daughter,
I love that next to your bed you keep a journal, a sketch pad, and always a pencil or two or sometimes 50 strewn about close by.  You have always had a hard time saying what you want, but you have never had a hard time articulating those thoughts into written words and drawings.  You have the creative ability that takes most professional artists their whole lives to perfect.  One day you too will be moving on and, as much as I may not like that, I know you'll have new tools to express yourself with.

To the both of you,
For now I will relish in your messy, cluttered, disorganized rooms for when you are older I don't want your memories to be how clean your room was; I want your memories to be what we created, dreamt, built, and played in your rooms.  The day will come soon enough when you put away your childhood play things.  It is a hard day to imagine and one I will choose not to think about.  The next time you hear me say, "Your rooms are a wreck", what I hope you'll hear is, "I love that you're enjoying this crazy childhood where all you have to worry about is what will you play next".  (even if you don't put the first toy away first, sigh)

p.s. now go clean your room!