I hardly blog so I’ll do that tonight, esp. since I can’t sleep. The baby is getting bigger and putting more weight on my back and legs, so today, I think I overshot my limits and was on my feet for too long.
Tonight, as I struggled to toss back and forth to every type of position laying down, Emma saw how painful it was for me. I asked her to pray for me so she did. Afterward, I felt her next to me, burying her head to my chest and I knew she was crying, although she tried very hard to hide it. She is truly the heart from my own heart and I can read her like I can sometimes read my own. I can see the traces of the young me in her, the empathetic sensitive person that can be so easily moved. One day, she’ll have to battle that truth of herself and find a way to develop thicker skin so she doesn’t always get so heartbroken.
She’s turning seven soon and things have changed since she was 3-5. She was always such an emotional child, sometimes crying over the tiniest things, so to prepare her for school, for social relationships, I toughened her up and explained to her constatantly that she can’t communicate through crying, esp. if that’s the first reaction that comes to her. Already, I had to ask her to control her emotions, somehow turning them around to be stronger, and I can see the effects of all that conditioning. Although I won’t say I regret it, because she has learned to react to bullies, nasty kiddish comments, condescending personalities, and bossy children, I can also see how she tries to supress her emotions, esp. in crying. However, I’m proud of this Emma who can stand up for herself and speak up when a nasty comment is thrown at her, without whimpering or running to the nearest adult. I’m proud that she can tell the truth about being respectful and telling someone what they ought to do rightly without calling people names. She calls it as she sees it, but maintains her integrity. And mostly, I’m proud that she doesn’t play victim, but that she’ll take action to change the circumstances.
But with that budding inner strength is the little girl who is probably wondering when it’s ok to cry.
So now that she’s getting a little older, I talk with her more about her feelings, allowing her to accept her emotions and let the tears flow, but not to wallow in them, but to understand them. I don’t want her to indulge in them but release them more now, because I want her to know who she is, what type of heart she has, and hopefully know how to handle disappointments that will really test her. And I don’t want her bottling her feelings in for the sake of being strong. I think she’ll have years of learning that if she’s anything like me in the future. But as her mom, I need for her to know that she can cry to me, and that I’ll accept her in her weak states.
As the kids get older, they become more fragile inside. So at a young age, I try to have “spending time” with each of them, giving enough time to know who they are. With Emma, it’s her stories in school, how she feels about all her relationships, if she’s being bullied, if she ever feels hurt, sorting through even her smallest accomplishments. With Zi, it’s going through the newest episodes of Doc McStuffins, asking her which characters she likes and who is sillier these days, asking her why I love her, and telling her how much I love her smile. I know how much these times mean to my girls, but in the long run, I’m just happy and so immensely blessed that I have such the pleasure of getting to know them. It gets me excited to know who they will be when they grow up.
I feel so blessed, and every day, God humbles me through them, teaches me and grounds me to check my integrity to be worthy for their footsteps to follow. I know many times I fail, but he knows my heart.
I don’t play the victim card, and will not announce that I am brokenhearted. I won’t cry and shout that I am weak and that I deserve grace the most. But I will hand my heart to the Father, and He knows me in my weakest states. He handles me in the quietness of our relationship and disciplines me through my convictions. You don’t have to teach me where I stand in God’s grace because I already know that is where He found me. I won’t put it on my status, or tweet it for the world to misconstrue. You can call it self righteousness if you dare to be so naive and contradictory in your own categorical impositions. But like I teach my daughter, you cannot go wrong with being honest and keeping your integrity. But deceitfulness, inconsistency, and immaturity really become transparent…to everyone. You don’t need Rick Warren or John Piper to convict you or teach you of these things. Get strong in your scripture.
Learn how to handle your heart.