I woke up this morning sad, like I’ve been waking up every morning lately, I got into the shower and had a little conversation with God. I asked him what it would take to not wake up so sad every day. Well I sort of asked him and sort of threw my hands up and said “You’re it!” because let’s be honest, I’m not going to choose different today if it’s up to me. I’d like to stay in my sulking corner and rot for a while longer, thanks.
Then my daughter, Jessica, came into the bathroom as I was blow drying my hair and thinking refreshingly positive thoughts that went a little like “I can do this. It’s a choice. I get to make this choice, today is just going to be good.” and she was on the brink of tears because her day got flipped around and now what she was waiting for was going to happen at a later date and didn’t I know her life was RUINED and everything was NOT FAIR and she’s always LEFT BEHIND and people kept DISAPPOINTING HER.
Touchè, dear Jesus. I was looking in a mirror. I usually am with this one.
So I had the conversation with her, the same one I thought I was having with God – I started talking with her about choices and how we can have everything we ever thought we wanted and look really happy and still be really, terribly alone and miserable and that it’s up to us to accept the happy things, to say yes to joy. We have to be thankful, really. We have to say “Today is enough, whatever it is, I can do today. I will choose this today.” Then I got honest with her and told her what I’ve been feeling like, that I wasn’t some adult looking down on her with all the answers because my life looked so much better than hers. I am the grown up, so of course I have veto rights and what looks like fun from her perspective is really just work for me.
Her face changed when I told her that I’ve been feeling the same way she is right now.
Because instead of seeing through her, I was looking her in the eye and telling her “I can see you, I am hearing you. I don’t have all the answers but this is what I think we should do. Do you want to try this with me? We can do it together today.”
I admitted how human I was. She could see all my cracks and the light shining through them. Sometimes I forget that she needs to see me bleed, too. On the trip home – our first night back on the road – we got to our campsite and set up. I had cried the night before after we said goodbye to everyone and then we were so busy packing and making sure we didn’t forget anything that I didn’t have any time to be sad again. But then we stopped moving and I sat down in the camper with Jessica at my feet. Aaron was talking to me and all of a sudden I couldn’t stop it. I put my hands over my face, and with Jessica watching, my body started shaking. I was sucking air and trying to hide and making ugly cry noises and my face was hot because I was covering it and everything was wet because the tears wouldn’t stop and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want her to see.
But she did. She saw it all and she moved the 24 inches from my feet to my torso and she put her entire body on-top of mine while I couldn’t control what it was doing, she laid there with me in my sadness. She stroked my hair away from my hands and dabbed away the stray tears flowing out of my hands and she whispered “It’s ok, mom. It’s ok to cry, I’m sad too.”
And suddenly I wasn’t so sad anymore.