Apparently, I have a new superpower.
My daughter has been sad a lot lately. She is entering that delicate tension between child and teen, running toward independence while simultaneously mourning the loss of naiveté. I rejoice with her and hurt for her. This is, what seems to be, the second in a series of transitions into what we eventually come to know as “real life.”
I don’t blame her for having a difficult time with it all. Everyone was in awe with her when she was little. Two tiny pigtails atop her head and words like they came from an adult, she had everything a two year old needed to get all kinds of ooo’s and ah’s and wow’s. It’s hard when a little girl’s years catch up with her cuteness. Precious as she is now, she also has a lot more responsibility. It will never be the same. I totally get it.
I know she’s sad because she gets angry. The kids love each other so intensely that they drive each other crazy with the expectation to be honored and loved and considered. It’s hard for kids to do all that for each other. It’s hard for any of us to do that for each other, regardless of how much we want it for ourselves. So several times a day they are offended and angry – especially after 4:00 in the afternoon. And in those times it is hard for them to do anything but scrutinize my favor.
You NEVER make Grant…You ALWAYS let Grant…He got more…Oh of COURSE he gets that!
I stopped rationalizing with her in these moments a long time ago. It doesn’t matter if she’s right or wrong, it matters that she isn’t feeling loved. We have no intention of changing her consequence or our decisions; but when this happens, the girl needs help.
One night a couple of weeks ago I realized that my little gal needed some extra sweet love – the kind that reaches the sadness under her anger. Right after an angrily offended outburst I followed her to her bed…
Hey babe. Look at me. Right here – look at me.
Her eyes wandered over for a brief second and met my adoring whole-face, gentle smile.
I love you, Amelia.
She immediately turned her head and hid the smile she couldn’t keep off of her own face. I didn’t joke this time. No arguing. No giving in. I just told her I loved her and I said it with my entire being. And I’ve been doing it periodically ever since. Then last night it happened again.
“How do you do that?”
Do what, honey?
“Make people smile.”
I don’t know. I guess it’s just my new superpower.
…a superpower we all have when we put on our super-deep goggles to see past surface-anger and find deep-pain. There’s no need to be afraid – no need to rationalize it away. Just meet it with deep-love.