A few nights ago, Peanut and I found ourselves outside in 107* [but overcast - which we Arizona people LOVE]. We were "peppering". Passing the volleyball back and forth. I am loving all the progress she is making. She asked that I hit a few balls at her so she can get used to balls coming more quickly at her. [not always the lobbing back and forth].
Sadly. My "take no prisoners" mantra managed to sneak it's way into playing with my daughter. She was rocking it. So I hit harder and harder and harder . . . . until I pegged her in the chest-ish region.
She. wasn't. so. impressed.
Me: You ok? [laugh, laugh] Try to get a hand on it. Anything - so someone can play it off you.
Peanut: [looking not impressed] Mom you just creamed me.
Me: Sorry kid. [then I went on about.....as you get better...these things happen....it's okay . . .]
Peanut: [pause] I think you and I both know NO ONE I'll be playing in the next two years will ever hit anything like that at me.
Me: [feeling slightly proud , joke, joke] okay, your right. But when they do -- you're all freaking over it!
Peanut: [eyes getting big and red and..................here comes the tears]
Me: sweetheart, I am so sorry. I thought you were having fun [prior to the smack down]
Peanut: I am Mom. This isn't about how I can't breathe. [yep, her words]
Me: huh, what?
Then she let it all - ALL - out.
You see [as you may very well know] . . . I am reactive.
Peanut: 7 out of 10 times . . . .not so much.
She hears a lot. [like me on the phone or talking to other "adults"]
She internalizes even more.
She thinks she has to be strong - all the time.
T u r n s o u t . . . . a larger than smaller telephone "conversation" was over heard by her when - - I had thought she was outside. [This was almost a month ago! And just now she tells me.] She did not get this skill from me.
Sitting there in the 107* grass with her, hugging her, answering her questions [trying to any way] . . . . . reminded me of why I love being a "Mom".
The intensity of the love I feel for her. The way I hurt when she hurts. The tangible bond we share. The losses we go through together. The surprises we encounter [love surprises]. The joys we celebrate together. The horrible dance moves we share. ;) The ability to love more - then more - then --- somehow ---- even more.
She still wants to talk to me. Listen to me. Cook with me. Dance with me. Read by me. Sit by me.
And I freaking love it.
Because I want to do the same.
Life is bumpy, twisty, confusing & full of air-pockets.
This day was no exception. But it was one of the best days in my life.
We packed it in. Walked inside. Both with tears streaming down our crusty, sweaty faces. She walks down the hall and . . . . I'm overcome.
By her non-childlike behavior. Her intensity. Her beauty. Her candor. Her talents. By her heart.
As a young mom [and young wife] I used to think that struggles equalled a failure to some extent. But now I realize more and more each day that these struggles bring us together in a way a "perfect" life - never could.
To heck with looking like the "Jones's". Being "Patty Perfect" , "Church-going Cathy" or "Homemaker Helen" .
My need, my want?
To continue on with my family, my girl - - - by MY side - - - for. FREAKING. ever.
Doesn't really matter.
What does matter?
That we keep moving ahead with our "seat belts" fastened.
Because life ----
--- it's a freaking awesome, wild ride.
[and guess what? we've. freaking. got. this.]