hi-ho the derry-o {the cheese stands alone}

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My mom has always said that as a mother, "you are only as happy as your least happy child." I always wished that that would not be the case for her. Out of four children, there was a good chance that at any given time one of us would be sad for one reason or another.  And more than anything in the world, I never wanted to see my mom sad. I also remember thinking, "I hope that doesn't happen to me when I am a mom." 

The other day I was in Ace's class at school when her teacher announced that they were about to take a class vote: Which center would be open that afternoon- blocks or sand table. She gave the kids a few seconds to think about what their choice would be and then said, "okay, if your vote is for the sand table to be open, please stand up." The kids all looked around at each other, no one budging, and then up popped Ace. She stood alone. I could tell she was uncomfortable, and sad. She looked at the other girls in the class (there are only two others) and they jumped up and stood with her. Her eyes beamed with joy and pride.

She had only stood alone for probably ten seconds while the teacher tried to convince any other kids to choose the sand table too, but it felt like an eternity. And in those ten seconds, my heart sank, I wanted to cry. On  one hand I was SO incredibly proud of her for standing alone for what she wanted (I realize it was just a sand table, but to me it was a metaphorical sand table), and at the same time my heart broke knowing she might have felt embarrassed.

It was at that moment that I realized- I am screwed. If something as little as that could have me fighting back tears, what was it going to be like when bigger kid embarrassments and sadness come. It was also at that moment that I really understood what my mom meant. Sure there have been times where my kids have fallen down and cried, or claimed that a friend was being mean. But this was different.

Ace is a worrier. Always looking to the future and worrying that things aren't going to happen the way she wants, the way she needs, them to happen. Before school most days, she is already asking me, "can I sleep in your bed the first tonight?" {Which translates to "can I fall asleep in your bed tonight, and sleep in there all night?"} Her questions are endless, and "we will see" or "I will think about it" don't even come close to cutting it. I can feel her anxiety.

When she does get to "sleep in our bed the first", she must sleep on top of me. 

On Tuesdays after school, she stays an extra forty-five minutes for gymnastics. Buys me just enough time to fit in one extra errand (or one extra show DVR'd from Monday night if I'm being honest). But I am never late to pick her up. Except today. I underestimated my driving time by a couple of minutes, and I pulled into the parking lot at 2:46 (they end at 2:45). Considering that I am usually early to get her, one minute late felt like way more. I ran in as moms were coming out with their kids, quickly scoured the room looking for her, only to find her across the room standing with the coach, sobbing. Even though, it seemed a little ridic that she was crying like that after only one minute-- I mean, most kids were still there, it wasn't as if the place had cleared out-- it still killed me to see her so upset.  Anyway, I scooped her up and told her I was so sorry that I wasn't there right when she finished. She couldn't even catch her breath. And I felt awful.

She was over it before long and was back to her typical happy, goofy self. But that along with the sand table situation have me wondering....

Is it even possible to avoid taking on your children's feelings? Or is that just par for the motherhood course?

So happy she has this boy to ease her anxiousness in many situations.  They seem to do that for each other. 

Lots of Love!


Hi, I'm Alysha -But you can call me Lysh said...

Oh, lisa..it's hard being a good mom ♥ You described how I feel exactly..down to the "uh-oh, I'm screwed!" I take my kids feelings on all the time, could even be over a TV show and having to give in and letting someone else have a turn now, lol. It's a special bond thats a blessing and a curse :)

Melinda said...

Lisa, i love this post! I had a hard time reading it because of the big tears in my eyes. It is true, you really are only as happy as your unhappiest child. That never ends, even when your kids are 19, 27 and 29 Ace is an amazing little girl and you are an amazing mom! I am so proud of you! I love you bigger than the whole universe!! Love, Mom

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