I had a moment with my daughter this weekend.
She's had a tough time lately dealing with her emotions. Earlier, when we had gone out to lunch, she was starting up a temper tantrum in the restaurant so I had to take her outside to chill for a minute. Only, she had no intention of chilling.
She raged at me. She yelled. She screamed. Told me I was a bad mama. Said this was a bad family. Said she didn't like any of us and no one liked her.
"We do like you. We love you," I replied. "I just need you to stop screaming so we can go back in the restaurant."
And so it went, back and forth.
"I'M COLD!" she finally screamed.
"If you stop screaming, we can go back inside," I said.
I didn't know how to navigate this storm with her. If I tried to wait her out, we might both freeze to death or starve to death. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but her will is strong. No matter how I tried to alternate between patiently waiting out her tantrum and then offering her an opportunity to go back inside, she would not relent.
When it seemed we had reached an impasse, I walked over to her, picked her up and hugged her.
She went limp in my arms.
"Do you want to go inside?"
"Are you all done screaming now?"
"Do you want pancakes?"
I felt the little head nod on my shoulder. And so we went back inside and she was perfectly lovely for the rest of the meal.
Later that day, we were playing in the house. She was laughing and adorable. All smiles, a tumble of blond hair and spindly four-year-old legs. I picked her up and held her at arm's length, both of us laughing and looking into each other's eyes.
And we held the look. Something in me connected to her in a way that almost merged us. So often people have told me that she looks like me and I haven't really seen it. But in that moment, with her head cocked to the side and her long hair spilling over her face, perhaps the angle of her chin or her smile—whatever it was—I saw myself in her. A little me. And my heart swelled with such empathy and love, for both of us. For the four-year-old little girl she is and for the four-year-old little girl I once was.
And it was good.
This post is a part of National Blog Posting Month or NaBloPoMo. Click here to learn more about it and to participate on your own blog. If you've written a NaBloPoMo post, feel free to share it in the comments here too. XOXO, Mandy