I want you to look back and remember the good times. I want you to recall your childhood as happy memories, trips to the park, cuddling on the couch for an afternoon of reading, long afternoons spent baking cupcakes.
But to hide the struggles, well that wouldn’t be fair. It would be a lie. It would send you striving to live up to something that is just not attainable. Life includes struggles.
And oh, my girl, these days, we struggle.
These days you cry. You whine. You scream.
In 2 seconds flat you morph from smiles and kisses into the most chilling shriek I’ve ever heard.
You do all of this to bend us to your will. But you bend our patience to its breaking point. And so we follow you to the screaming place. We know it doesn’t make things better. But, just like you, we can’t always help it.
For weeks now, I’ve tried to blame your age. She’s just two, I tell myself. She’s not even three yet. I blame the circumstances. There has been a lot of change this year. She’s just reacting to moving, that was a big change. I find blame for each wild, screaming tantrum. It’s hot. She’s tired. There’s too much going on.
But it’s not just you.
In every relationship, my girl, there are two people. Two people to make it work; two people to share the blame in times of struggle.
And I’ve got to take some of this blame.
You are not my baby anymore. I can’t just set you down and direct your play. I can’t dictate exactly what you do and precisely how you do it. You think and you reason now. You have wants and needs all your own. You know what it feels like to have control. And you want more of it.
So many moments bring you to tears.
My heart wants to nurture you; to hug out the screams and cuddle away the tears; I want to give it all to you. My brain wants to reason with you, talk it out, encourage you to communicate; I want you to understand that you can’t always get your own way.
There is no way to break the tie.
And the days, all too frequent now, when each moment has bumped painfully into the next and I’m flailing about just to stay above water; the days when everyone needs something but you need me most, those are the days when I find I can’t give it all to you. Some days I can’t even give a little. Some days my patience is inadequate and my boiling point too low.
Yes, I’m struggling.
I wish I could be more patient for you. I wish my compassion and understanding knew no bounds. But, I am human. Humans have limits. Humans struggle.
And humans grow.
Keep growing, my girl. And I will too. And we’ll work through these struggles to come out better on the other side.