Boy, being a mom is one heckuva tricky job. One minute, you’re comforting an injured child who got an eye scratch when her brother accidentally kicked bark in her eye.
- You are their healer-their source of comfort-their center.
The next, they are trying all the angles to convince you that we MUST adopt a cat from the animal shelter, including showing the most moving and heartwrenching videos from the Humane Society.
- You are their supplier of all needs (and wants)-their stability-their rock.
And then, when “life isn’t fair”, and you say no and “crush their dreams” (be it about a cat or anything else), they can turn very quickly. Unleash fury. Or tears. And sometimes both simultaneously.
- You are their enemy-their denier-their naysayer. (And that’s not a bad thing in this context)
But the tricky times as a mom are often those you don’t see coming. Like when a girl decides to call out your child right in front of you. A simple phrase like, “You were supposed to come dressed to cheer”—said with the cruelest intentions. Intended to embarrass. Cold.
Time stands still. I wait-knowing I have a choice. I could totally jump right down this brat’s throat and unleash my lawyer brilliance on her on behalf of my client, my daughter. It’s an unfair fight for one, because I would annihilate that kid in a subtle “I’ve been dealing with girls like you much longer than you have, sweetie” way. But then I’m THAT mom-who fights her kids battles for them. And she never learns to stand on her own. Plus, that only adds fuel to the fire and likely labels her as someone who needs her mommy to defend her.
So I stand there and say nothing. And wait. Hardest. Thing. Ever.
And my girl simply replies, “Yeah, well I never left school so I’m here to change now” (as the locker room is the setting for this drama to unfold).
Was it the confrontation to be documented on Bravo TV? Heck, no. But for my girl, it’s epic. She stood her ground. And spoke up instead of shrugging it. I puff my chest out proudly and beam for the small triumph. Thankful that I said nothing. Even more thankful that she said everything.
- Now SHE is her believer-her source of strength-her advocate.
I’ve always loved the symbolism of butterflies. Even created a lullaby to sing to my daughter about them. Their total metamorphosis not unlike the change my daughter is going through. Transforming before my very eyes from baby to toddler, then little girl to tween. I remember how challenging it was for me when she went to camp for the first time. She was 8 years old and I thought, “She’s WAY too young to do a spend the night camp.” (Without me, it turns out, was my big hangup). She was ready-I wasn’t. In my defense, I never went to summer camp so it was a total foreign concept.
When she emerged from the clubhouse on pickup day, I realized that it was the longest time I had gone without seeing her, talking to her, tucking her in at night. I missed being her mommy. And deep down I knew I was moving from mommy territory to just mom. And it scared me. But I let go of her for camp that year. And every year since then.
I whispered, “Spread your wings and fly little butterfly.” I’m letting the butterfly fly. And she is.