I sat with you this morning, while the rest of the family slept. You were up a bit early and had a nightmare, so you ran into our bed leaping onto it with the max energy you start your day with, landing on your baby sister causing a scene .2 seconds into your day. After that settled, we sat and talked, and you played shadow puppets with your hands, belly laughing at how funny it was to you . . . but you kept being told shh because I didn’t want the entire family up at that hour.
It then dawned on me how much you just live your life as who you are and get told to stop, quiet down, change it because it’s tough for everyone else to handle. How many times a day you hear no, how many times you get told inadvertently that who you are isn’t OK. And my heart broke for a moment for that. Mainly because the voice it’s coming from the most is me. And for that. my hard child, I am sorry.
One day you will have so much more control over your emotions, you will have the cognitive ability to understand how your emotions get so intense. You will have tools to combat the struggles you have. But today, my dear, you don’t have those, and we are in the thick of learning them all.
We are in the trenches. And that’s what it feels like some days doesn’t it? For us both.
I’m sorry I make decisions for your life you just aren’t old enough to make but make such a big impact on the trajectory of your life. Trust me, if I felt you could make the choices I have to make for you, I would happily hand over the baton.
I’m sorry your loving, hilarious little personality gets overshadowed by the tantrums, the yelling, the discipline, the fights. You are such a wonderful and kind person, and it saddens me that I rarely get to see that and spend time with that side of you because the other stuff takes up so much time and energy.
I’m sorry I get so burned out by it all and then can’t give you the attention you need—because you need that attention. You need to be seen, and sometimes I feel like I fail to give you that because I am so drained from it all.
But know this, my hard child, I will never stop fighting for you.
I will advocate for you. I will be your voice when no one else is listening. I will never give up until you are the best version of yourself you can be with everything you need to be supported.
And, my hard child, I will keep learning, trying new things that could maybe help you, and keep trying every day so your hard moments can be a little less hard on you.
And know this, my hard child, You are so, so loved. I know it feels like all we do is discipline you, but behind that is love. A love you probably won’t understand until you have your own child. But we want you to be the best version of yourself you can be when you grow up, and if we don’t teach you right from wrong now, you can’t be that person.
The love is so deep though, my dear.
There are days I’m not sure either of us are going to make it through, there are times I’m convinced I am damaging you, there are times I have and will again fail you. But that will never stop me from getting up the next day and trying again. And one day, hopefully soon, we can have more moments like this morning—cuddling and enjoying each other—and it won’t get overshadowed by the hard moments.
My dear, one day we will get there together.