A lot of the spirited child blog posts I read include a small snippet about how the parent “gets it” because they too were a spirited child.
But what about those of us that were (are) not like that?
Unlike my daughter, I’m not a pusher of the limits. I’m a private, sort of self conscious person. She is loud and proud, and you’re lucky if she even acknowledges your presence in her fabulous world. The really scary part is that we’re both extremely sensitive but in different ways. She gets frustrated in an almost ragey fashion whereas I get frustrated in a deeply saddened way.
You could say our relationship is somewhat turbulent.
I’m pushed towards (and sometimes shoved over) the absolute brink of my mommy threshold every day, multiple times a day. Motherhood is a beautiful thing, but we often make the mistake of thinking “beautiful” equates to happy hugs and constant laughter. My laid back, all smiles boy brings me peace and softness. My girl is ruthless in her passions and carries a fierce intensity that I struggle to fully understand. She is beautiful in the most vivid, extraordinary, breath-taking, painful way.
Oh, how I wish I could be *that mom*. The mom that finds pure joy in her children all the time. (I really think she’s just a myth.) But I have to be honest. I often find myself with feelings of “I can’t do this. I don’t know what to do. I’M SO LOST.”
Mothering a spirited child is beyond hard. I’ve ugly cried in my shower on so many occasions.
“Am I ruining this child?”
“I’m trying so hard to help her be the best she can be.”
“WHY DOES SHE HATE ME?!”
Now let me stop my moaning for a minute to clarify. My child is not bad. She doesn’t really misbehave, and she’s not an off the wall wild child. I’d describe her as intense decisive, opinionated, strong, intelligent, independent… Powerful. Like a teeny tiny explosive sun blasting rays through your mind and heart at a rate so unrelenting, you feel like you’re going to poof into ashes at any moment.
She’s quite impressive.
The first almost five years have been absolute pandemonium for me in terms of mommyhood. I thought I would know how to parent. How to love a child. But I was blessed to raise one of the world’s most mighty people, and she has brought to light so much that I don’t know. I believe in gentle and peaceful parenting because my only other option would be to go down in flames, taking her with me.
For as long as it takes, and as hard as it will be, I will be the balancing weight for her. I won’t crush her spirit, and I won’t try to wash away her determination. My ultimate goal is to help her reach her perfection. Not to change her, but to offer her assistance in full development. I don’t want her to be less intense, I want her to scorch through any and every issue she is passionate about. I want her to know it’s okay to feel things at a level most of us simply can’t fathom or handle.
My child and I are complete opposites. It’s taken years to figure it out, but I now know we’ve been given each other for precisely that reason.