With tears rolling down her face and her head sunk into her chest, she had no breath in her body to utter a word to me… to share her hurt with me. She walked off and closed herself in her room.
My daughter. My baby girl. My sweetheart.
I’m often told she looks and acts just like I did as a young girl. She has deep dimples. Her head is covered with long, curly hair. She has a smart mouth. Her love for school is admirable, and she’s very mature for such a young age. I must admit. My daughter is truly a replica of me. We shop together. We comb our naturally, curly hair in the same styles together. We share everything; ideas, pictures, videos, or even a quick laugh about something or someone. I know without a doubt that I’m her real life role model.
Lately, I’ve been so caught up in my own pain that I’d forgotten my daughter is watching my every step. She often reminds me that she knows when I’m happy and when I’m sad. How she knows this is because I treat her differently when I’m sad. She says I slam doors behind me, and that I close myself off in a room. She knows that I hear the words she’s speaking, but that I’m not listening. I’ve zoned out. I’m not mentally available for my baby girl. How can I possibly not be available for my OWN daughter?
So the story goes…
I was in love. I was trapped in a place where I felt like I owed all my love to someone else. My love was real, for sure, but when betrayal hit my door, I didn’t feel like I had the right to walk away. I felt like I would be punished for not loving beyond faults. You know…that unconditional love? I worried more about what my love would think to a point of losing my self respect. However, in my moment of trying to convince myself that I could overcome the pain betrayal had caused me, I ALMOST lost my daughter.
MY DAUGHTER. MY BABY GIRL. MY SWEETHEART.
The old saying is, “watch what I do, not what I say.” It’s amazing how our children watch and admire the things we choose to do (good and bad) and even more amazing that we lose sight of that when we’re going through our own difficulties.
My daughter has cried out FOR me and WITH me. Even in her more mature days, she’s given me her advice. Yes. My 11 year old tells me how she feels about what I’m going through. “They say” a child should stay in a child’s place but I believe oftentimes we don’t give our children enough credit.
Children are open and honest. They may not understand what we are going through but they feel our pain and it affects them more than we know. For my daughter to have an open relationship and feel safe enough to share her feelings with me, I believe I owe her enough to love her even in my darkest hours and weakest moments. I never want my daughter to shut me out and have tears of pain that are triggered by my vulnerability and blindness to her emotions and love for me. So, I’ve taken a step back to re-evaluate the life I’m living for my daughter. I have taken a step back to understand she’s watching me. She’s taking notes. She’s mentally preparing herself for the world based on me, her mother. For my daughter, I will take a step back from the worries that overwhelm me and…JUST BREATHE!