Teaching emotional health is a weird thing at my house. Especially when none of my girls are alike. This is something I have been thinking a lot about lately as I have seen my girls run through a various feelings on my going back to work. We shared the secret with them back in May just throwing it out as feelers or to think abouts.
And it was a funny thing to see their various reactions. The one that surprised me the most was #1. Whenever I would talk about it or be excited she kind of clammed up. Not saying much, rarely making eye contact. Then just as quickly as we were talking about what I would be doing or something she was doing and she would jump into another conversation and could talk for hours on that.
Finally a week ago I asked her, “Why don’t you ever want to talk about my job? Are you upset about it?” Her eyes got big and bright and I could see tears well up. She said, “I am happy for you, Mommy. I just never know the right thing to say.” So there began a long conversation of what that actually meant.
At the end of the conversation I realized when it comes to emotions she has got the sensitivity and emotional well being of a 38 year old man that I am married too. And that folks is hard to read and can often times come across as uncaring when in actuality they care more than most they just stink at showing it. And sometimes when they do it is jumbled up and misunderstood.
I know this. I am not sure why I didn’t put it together. She is my girl that likes to think she is independent and does not need me. Oh how often she wants me to share the stories of her baby hood where she was so independent. And she was. She doesn’t like hugs, or too much emotion or too many feelings or to deal with those feelings or heaven forbid admit that she may need and love someone in her life.
When she is hurt rarely does she ever express it. In fact, I can remember once that she actually said it out loud and oh how that turned out she will likely never do it again. I can tell when she is because she does that same clammy thing I spoke about before. I see and hear her friends do things to her and I just keep my mouth shut. Not because I want to but because she wants me too. I suppose similar to her daddy she wants to be stoic and seem unhurtable. But she is and it stinks sometimes because she really is anything but in private.
Some can find fault in that but obviously I should try not too. I married a guy that is exactly like that and now I have a daughter like that and to be truthful I wish I could be more like that. I wear my heart on my sleeve (or my mouth). That conversation revealed to me that she will take it the hardest with Mommy being back to work full time and that her fear that I won’t be there for her is much greater than any thought that I housed that she actually didn’t care about my job and me reaching my dream.
In this world it takes extreme courage to stand up and be who you are. She is doing that. As a mother that makes me proud. I will no longer tell others I am sorry for it or misinterpret it myself. As we talked about how her feelings get hurt because people don’t understand her or want her to be different the opportunity came up to remind her those that truly love us, love us for all of us including our faults. Especially the ones that are misunderstood.
She maybe the one girl I have that is a spitting image of me. But she is just like her daddy, always has been and always will be. And I am not naive enough think she is perfect, but I am smart enough to love her for who she is and will support that till the day I die. I love you dear sweet baby girl. Thank you for being who you are. You are beautiful inside and out.
Immediately after writing this I was reading my Daily Om (a subscription I have had for about four years now) and today’s was about giving up power and it tied so well with what I have written here. “Giving Away Power“