Monday, August 18, 2008
The mothering of girls is no small task. Not only are girls relationship driven, but they are filtering life through a range of emotions that is constantly changing. On top of that, they are watching their mother with they eyes of a hawk and becoming intuitive to any feeling that I am experiencing.
I've never considered myself an overly emotional person. (Those who know me are laughing right now. Can you say, "Understatement"?) It was actually very difficult for me to share any emotion growing up. I'd easily share my ideas, dreams, thoughts.... but I would keep the feeling part to myself. Once I had processed everything then I would share it with my mom or my best friend. Emotions just didn't flow freely. Sadness, anger, bitterness, disappointment, nervousness.... just welled up inside me and I pushed it back somehow.
I've certainly outgrown that dilemma. It is in large part to the Lord's work in my life. The Lord has softened me in many areas and when dealing with matters dear to Him, I simply can not hold back emotion, though I might try. It's a good thing. Allowing myself to actually go through the process of emotions has lead me to call out to Him for help instead of waiting for my brain to figure it all out.
Of course, I expect my girls in their hormonal fluxes to be more emotional and difficult at times. It is the walk of a woman to learn to control reactions and extremes. I don't expect my girls to be perfect at this. It's a lifetime process and a little grace needs to be given.
But I know they are watching me. They are picking up on my emotions a bit more everyday. "Mom, are you frustrated?" "I was going to talk to you, but you seemed too busy." "Are you worried about something?" "I think that you are mad at me." I know that my time has come. They are waiting to see if this woman, their mom, is able control her own reactions and extremes. I am the example God has seen fit to provide.
Today has been a tiring day emotionally for us girls. Several bouts of tears and frustrations related to school, along with some discipline for disobedience, has worn this mom down. I admit that I've lost it a few times and spoken harshly. I've asked for forgiveness and received some much needed hugs.
Before bed I announced to Lydia that in the morning I expected to see her in clean clothes. She was not only to wear clean clothes, but something from her drawer that she has not worn in a month. She has favorites and has been known to wear them for days on end if no one is watching. I've attributed this to the fact that she must be comfortable to be happy. But I know that she will miss out on much in life if she is only willing to stay with what is familiar.
I told her to pick something out or I would. Surely that would be motivation enough, right?I found her in her room sobbing and looking through her drawers. Frankly, I wanted to scream, "JUST TRY SOMETHING ON!!! I want to end this day!" But, by God's grace, I did not. We looked through the choices. We talked about why she liked some things and not others. I was literally biting the side of my mouth in order not to freak out. She cried some more. "Mom, I'm glad I have clothes to wear. But....I just want to wear something that looks.....more grown up. I'm so sorry.... Nobody cares. I mean, I talked to Miriam and she cares, but she just doesn't understand what I'm going through. Mom, everything is changing." (sob, sob, sob)
Come to find out, she has been trying to talk to me about it for a while and when she got up the courage last time, I blew her off. So she's been wearing what she has and doesn't know what else to do. My girl is changing. Her tastes are changing, her perspectives are changing, her hormones are changing.
And thus, my mothering of Lydia is changing as well.