Not just crazy mad, although that too. I mean mad mad, as in angry mad. I mean they frustrate and exasperate and irritate you. I mean that you’re so fed up it’s all you can do to hold it in until bedtime.
Seriously, why can’t they behave?
Maybe they’re wondering the same thing.
My recent New Year’s resolution to treat the Maiden like an adult grew out of a conversation that taught me as much about myself as it did about her. A repeat of that conversation last night–complete with many tears and cuddles–made me realize that I’m not doing as good a job with that resolution as I’d hoped. It was time to recall why I had decided to work on this in the first place.
Some time ago the Maiden was on her way somewhere–school, dance, a rehearsal. Remembering the sorry spectacle of the preceding day, I gave a very gentle nag: “You’re going to be good this time, right?”
But for once I didn’t get the oblivious “Of course, Mommy.” I got a wounded little girl. “You don’t need to tell me, Mommy,” she said sadly. “I already know.”
Yeah right . . . and you said that yesterday. We both know about what went down in class. And about the call I got. And about the note that was sent home.
What she said next floored me.
“I need you to know that I can be good,” she said. “I don’t want you to always think I’ll be bad before I even try.”
What she was saying was staggering. Believe in me. I NEED you to believe in me. I need to know that YOU think I can be good. With all your heart.
Even when I haven’t been. Even when I’ve disappointed.
Even when I may disappoint again.
I need to know that you respect me enough to think I can change. But that you’ll still support me if I fall.
That you won’t just stand and watch disapprovingly. That you’ll still keep believing in me. That nothing will change what’s between us.
That there IS something between us.
I need to know that our relationship is about more than behavior.
I need to know that you think of me in terms of what I am instead of what I do.
I need to know you love me.
I need my Mommy to be in my corner. Always.