I love all my children fiercely. But it’s my eldest, my poor, sweet guinea pig, that challenges me as a human and as a mother on a daily basis.
It is because of her that my parenting is constantly evolving. She is paving the way, and helping to create a better, more flexible, insightful, and compassionate mother for her little brothers. And for herself.
What a big task for such a little girl.
After returning to school from Thanksgiving break Miss H has just been off.
I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something was changing.
She was more weepy. She’d cry at the drop of a hat over things that didn’t make sense (a friend at Girl Scouts agreed to let her go first after she asked and she immediately lost it). She was being unusually unkind to B. She was purposefully testing boundaries and choosing not to listen; moreso than typical things.
My sweet, happy girl was transforming into someone I wasn’t fond of.
And before I could put my finger on it the meltdowns began.
Good golly. Meltdowns that gave 3 year old Miss H a run for her money.
And then, finally, the words.
I miss you! She would sob to me in a complete heap on my lap. I miss you every day! I hate being away from you! I miss my brothers! I miss Papa! I don’t want to be gone from you all day!
Rinse and repeat this for the past two weeks. It’s been an emotional roller coaster.
I’ve always been totally supportive of her desires and aspirations; including school. No one will ever rally and champion behind that girl the way her momma will.
So when she cries in the morning, begging me not to take her to school, I remind her of all the things she loves about school.
And when I pick her up and ask her what the best part of her school day was and she quips with “you coming to pick me up” I re-ask the question so she gives me something school related.
But for how long do I push? When is it safe to retreat? Why in the world did she not come with a guide book?
There is only a week and a half left until winter break. Maybe that break will be what she needs to return excitedly and re-invigorated.
Or maybe it’s what she needs to be certain that as much as she loves her friends and teachers and work, school, no matter how liberal, just isn’t her cup of tea and she’d prefer to homeschool with her brother.
Whatever the path, one can be sure, she’s making it easier for her brothers (and her momma!) to navigate this messy path to education.