Friday, September 10, 2010

My Girl

This girl.

Man do I love this girl. She is an amazing nurturer to her siblings. She loves to dance & sing & perform. She loves to play school. She loves to cook. She loves painted toes & fingers & flavored lip gloss. She is tender and kind and is the first to snuggle up to me when I'm feeling blue.

She and I have been at odds lately and it's been killing us both. We argue. We snark at one another. We lose our tempers and flare up way too frequently.

It is killing me.

Yesterday, after a particularly frustrating bout of why-won't-you-listen-to-me-can't-you-please-just-choose-to-be-happy, she was up in her room fuming and I was in the office fuming.

The phone rang.

Her teacher from school.

And this is the part about myself that I hate the most. Because right then? When I saw that number on the caller ID, I immediately thought "oh no, what is she doing wrong at school now?"

"Hello Mrs. J! This is Sra. V calling about Hannah."

"Um, hello Sra. V! How are things going at school?"

"Well, Mrs. J, I just wanted to tell you how tickled I am to have Hannah in class! She is such a delight to be around and is working really hard to make good choices all day long. She is becoming a leader in our class and is one of the only students to communicate with me in Spanish without any prompting from me. She is shining and I just love having her here."

Did I mention that I already hate myself?

Tears immediately sprang to my eyes and I thanked Sra. V for making such a wonderful call to me. I told her that we have been struggling at home so this was some most wonderful news to hear. She said she wasn't surprised that she was acting out at home because she is clearly working so hard to be her very best at school. I thanked her for loving my daughter and seeing her clearly and we ended the call, me feeling so full of love for this girl of mine.

I went to the kitchen to find Brad and we made a huge production out of the call we had just received. Hannah sat on the couch with a huge grin on her face as we congratulated her for making such good choices at school. We thanked her for being kind to everyone and for most importantly, choosing to be happy regardless of what she is doing. We took turns hugging her and holding her close, kissing the top of her head as she clung to us. When she pulled away, she had tears in her eyes and I felt all of the yuck between us melt away.

Later than night, Brad told Hannah that maybe "school Hannah" could come home with her and be here as well. She laughed and said she'd see what she could do.

This morning, as I readied her for school, she said quietly "Mama, I'm going to talk to school Hannah and see if she'll come home with me for the weekend. Do you think that would help us?"

I told her we'd get school Hannah and good Mama together and we'd both be a lot better off. We figured out some things to do when we see the other person getting frustrated and I dropped her at school knowing that we would both be okay. She has a lot to learn, but I have even more to learn and it feels like we're finally both on our way.

Man do I love that girl.


Sarah said...

I seriously teared up while reading this because Kendle and I have the exact same struggles. We have lots of days where we are totally frustrated with each other. That is wonderful you got a call from her teacher and that helped you talk things out with her.

Kelly said...

Now I have tears too, and I just put mascara on. Thanks a lot. :)

I wish teachers would make calls like that more often... Hannah is amazing and so are you!

tharker said...

Not fair, you! What do you think you're doing making me cry this way?

I love that girl to pieces!

And you too!!

Mimi said...

This is what makes a good parent, one who continually reflects and is ready to accept their child for who they are.

You are not alone though...I love that girl too! and her smile! I am very thankful that Nadia has her as a friend.

Cathy said...

Dude, now I'm sniffling. Thanks for sharing. I think a lot of moms and daughters feel this way. I know I get this way with Anna sometimes. It takes a lot to be able to step back and turn things around. You are great!

Amy said...

This got me all teary eyed too. Anne Marie and I have a similiar relationship right now. I asked her teacher last year if Anne Marie was sassy at school. Her teacher just looked at me like I was insane. "No, she is so respectful and sweet to everyone."

So I realize now, with help from your sweet daughter's teacher, that Anne Marie is so good at school all day that she just needs to let loose at home. And I'm supposed to love her unconditionally and she should feel safe with me always.

Such a good lesson, learning to understand instead of trying to be understood.

THanks for this post. I needed it.