It’s 3:47 am. I can’t sleep. I was going to say thoughts were running though my mind – rampant and racing, but that’s not true. There are only a few, but they are heavy. Heavy, anchored, and seemingly swelling. It’s parenting, and its tough. Not only the act of parenting, but just the role, the responsibility can be a mental mindtrap. There are so many things to worry about. I worry about how I handled situations, how I may have misread situations, how I may have messed up. I worry about missing things. I worry about being distracted. I worry about worrying too much. Tonight, well technically this morning, I worry that while I am navigating though the struggles of an emotional child who verbalizes her fears so eloquently, I may be neglecting the emotional needs of my younger child who struggles to express herself.
Sometimes, when she does express herself maturely , I am taken aback. Tonight, I was lying next to Isla in her bed, two tiny yet mighty arms wrapped tightly around me, she said, “sometimes Big Sissy doesn’t like me.” My heart stopped. I struggled to speak, as if the words I was reaching for were trapped in my throat, being pushed back by the power of her words — their sentiment, and meaning.
These words took me completely by surprise, especially when I think about the relationship my girls have with each other. Avrie is a wonderful sister. She is sweet, patient, and an excellent role-model. However, sometimes she loses her patience. Honestly, we all do. I could be a better model for dealing with stress and maintaining patience with my girls. This is something I am actively working on, and I am improving. Isla struggles with screaming and lashing out when she wants something. Feeling like she cannot get her words out results in lots of yelling and frustration. “Use your words,” I say. Well tonight she did, and I had no idea she could even understand what it meant to dislike a person or to be able to feel something so big. I spoke to her like a big girl. I told her Sissy always loves her and named everyone in our family who loves her. She went to bed with a smile on her face and as I finish typing and hope to get some rest, I found a new focus. I need to concentrate on affirming Isla’s worth and helping to develop her own personal interests, and facilitate and encourage her own victories. I’ve been moving on autopilot lately, and she has been along for the ride. I need to give her more.