Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Maybe another day

Parenthood is so much harder than I expected it to be. Although I knew that I would have to guide my children through disappointment I never thought that I would feel it as acutely as they do.

Today Madeline was disappointed. The details of the situation aren't important, basically I told her something was going to happen and it didn't and it was totally out of my control to do anything about.

For the first time in her life I saw her truly disappointed. She curled up in my lap and quietly cried.

And to be honest, so did I.

No parent wants to see their child sad or disappointed. Today's situation was especially frustrating because there was NOTHING I could do to fix it. There was no equal alternative to offer her. Not much to distract her attention.

I wanted to fix this but I couldn't and I know that I won't always be able to. She has to learn that life can be disappointing. (I just choked up typing that last line, thinking about all of the times I've been disappointed and not ever, ever wanting my girls to feel that way.) I also know that I have to help guide them through these times and teach them how to deal with them. That is so very hard.

Talking to Kevin earlier today he said that he knew he was going to have to deal with disappointments as they grew up. Maybe they would be picked on, or not invited to a birthday party. We never thought it would start so very young. Yet there she sat, at three years old, in my lap with tears running down her face, truly disappointed.

I want to make it clear that today's events may not have been positive for us, but I am not angered by what happened. It's life and we move on. It was just hard to see Madeline react the way she did.

In all of this she taught me a huge lesson. After crying for a while we got up to get dressed for the rest of our day. She wiped her tears away (the ones I hadn't already taken care of) and moved on. She mentioned the situation only two more times during the day, and both times she ended her recounting with, 'but I'm ok. Maybe another day."

I, on the other hand, can't get the image of my little girl sobbing on my lap out of my mind. Yet again it is the student teaching the master*.

Maybe another day.

*Let it be known that I do not in any way what so ever consider myself a master at parenting. I am actually far from it. Thankyouverymuch.



Adrienne said...

Oh Mo...
It sounded like she handled it well. It is okay to feel bad and sad (not that we WANT them/us to), but it is also necessary not to dwell on it. I'm proud of her and you too.

Gina said...

Such a good learning experience, albeit an emotionally wrenching one!

Molly said...

Wait till you're the one who has to disappoint - like when she asks to go to the coed sleep-over, I mean, Mom, like EVERYONE'S going! Then you're the bad guy. Even though the answer is an easy one (NO WAY - right?) it's still a tough parenting moment.