Monday, July 27, 2009

The answer is love...

This morning was rough. I am not going to lie to you, friends. Today I have not been a good mom. But, to also be totally truthful, my sweet Lily was behaving terribly. I kept my patience for a long time, but I finally snapped.

I yelled. I told her not to talk to me. I sent her to her room to cry, alone, while I cooled off.

We had lunch and she went down for nap. And that is when all of my walls tumbled down around my ears.

I am a good mother. I am dilligent. I am kind. I am firm. I take my job very very seriously. Nothing is more important than my Lily. Nothing.

But today, I cried for the child I once was. I cried because my daughter got a taste of what I lived with for so long, and it wounded me more than anything has in so long. I cried, sobbed, and gave myself over to the pain and grief. I thought about myself. I thought of all the days and hours I spent alone, wondering when the hammer would fall. Wondering when and if I would be punished. Wondering if anybody loved me.

The lonliness of that little girl I used to be is almost too much to bear. She was a good girl. She was quiet. She was obedient. She walked on eggshells. She hid bruises. And she loved. She loved her momma with all her might. And she was so confused and sad when it all seemed to come down around her, time and again. When nobody would listen. When nobody came to save her.

I NEVER want my baby girl to feel even a touch of what I carry with me. I never want her to wonder if I love her. I never want her to be sad or lonely in her own home. My heart just aches thinking she will ever wonder if her momma loves her. God, it makes me so so sad.

This is the sweetness and burden of motherhood. It is carrying the pain from your own early days into your child's life. It is fighting against it or surrendering to it. It is looking at her and seeing myself. Watching her face crumble when I scold her. Watching her jump when I raise my voice. It's hearing her tiny voice ask "Mama, are you mad at me?". My heart breaks for her...and for me. I see her and I see myself at the same time.

She is 2 1/2, and I have not had a day like this. I've had doubts, sure. But I haven't had this heartbreaking sadness before. Something has dragged to the surface in the past few weeks, drawn by those few little words she seems to keep finding- "Mama, are you mad at me?". It breaks my heart, every time. And she is sincerely asking. Her little face is full of worry. And I ask myself this- what have I done to ever make that thought pop into her head?

There are too many questions. There is too much hurt here. I cry for her. I cry for the little lost girl I was. I never knew that this would sneak up on me with such ferocity, that these moments of remembering would steal my breath, would bring me to my knees.

I have no answers this afternoon. I have nothing to soothe this wound. I have only the knowledge that whenever a question is asked and the answer is just not there, cannot even be seen, the immediate answer is to love.

So I am going to wake my little girl up from her nap. And I am going to hold her, rock her, and tell her I am sorry I lost my temper. I am going to do for her what was never done for me. I am going to make it right. I am going to heal it.

And maybe heal myself a little, too.