It has been a struggle in this house for the past couple of weeks. The summer has really messed with the kid and she’s been having a lot of trouble going to sleep at night since we got home from the family reunion. As a result she’s been overtired almost all the time.
The past two nights though, have been something special. All this time I’ve been telling people how much I’ve enjoyed five. Five has been good to us. She’s been good to us. But these past two nights have turned into rage and yelling. Screaming and slamming doors. She goes 0-150 in 2.5 seconds.
And it really, really sucks.
You see, I haven’t been feeling like a very good parent for the past few weeks. She can be exhausted, and I’m already tired most of the time. She never stops moving and she wants attention and it’s hard to get down and play with her when I know there are other things I could/should/want to be doing.
But tonight, after she had calmed down a bit from her rage, after we had talked it out a bit and shared some hugs, after we got her back into her bed without tears. Tonight she quietly opened her door and said: “Mommy…”
“Mommy, I feel like you don’t really care about me.”
She didn’t say it to be hurtful, she wasn’t trying to get back at me, she wasn’t angry. She was matter of fact. And I didn’t know what to say. Just telling her that of course I care about her didn’t seem like enough.
But how do you explain? How can you every explain?
So years from now, if she finds this, if she’s doubting me again, if she feels that way I can say this:
I love you so much I would die for you, but I’m afraid to die because I would miss you so much.
I love you more than I even thought I was capable of loving anything or anyone.
When you were born I fell in love with you and it was so overwhelming I would burst into tears just watching you. And I thought that was as much as I could love you, but as it turns out I love you even more every year.
I spend all my time thinking about you and worrying about you and wondering about you and watching you and being amazed at you.
I love you so much, I care so much for you, that it seems as though no one could ever really understand how deeply I feel it.
I love you so much that I have to fight every urge to give you everything you ask for and make everything easy because I know that you will be a better human being in the end if I do that for you.
Everything I do, I do with you in mind. I try to make our lives better. I try to be better for you. I do care.
And someday I know you’ll believe me.