Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Lesson in Parenting That I Didn't Want to Learn

My daughter cried herself to sleep tonight-and I couldn't make it better.  This may be the first time,.  She had a sleepover planned, but it didn't quite work out.  We made it until 8:45 and her friend wanted to go home.  It happens.  Sophie dissolved into tears as Taylor loaded up her friend and all her stuff.  My mind immediately sprang into action.  Okay, how can I make this better?  I pulled Sophie into my lap on the couch as we finished watching Hugo.  Maybe distraction will work.  "Isn't this a great movie?  Is it like the book?  Did you like it?"  Okay, so she's not 2 anymore and can't be distracted that easily.  More tears.

"Do you want to sleep on your brother's trundle?"  A nod.  Okay, maybe a sleepover with her brother will help so I tuck her into his trundle reminding her to focus on all the fun they got to have together before her friend had to leave.  I leave the room hearing her sobs so of course I must go check on her a few minutes later.  She is no longer in brother's trundle, but in her own bed, still sobbing.  Oh, my heart is breaking.

"Do you want to have a sleepover with me?  You can sleep in my bed."  I was ready to kick Taylor out of his own bed and into Sophie's daybed - anything to make her feel better. But she shook her head no.  "Do you want me to lay in here with you?"  Another no.  What?  My daughter is sad and she doesn't want to be with me?  This is a new one. I can't fix this.  I'm all out of ideas.

I go into my bedroom to find Taylor with his earbuds in.  "Sophie's sad and I can't fix it."  He shrugs. "Disappointment is hard but they have to learn it."  Why can't I be a man? 

So ultimately I go back to Sophie's room, pull the covers off of her sobbing head, climb in next to her and pull her close.  I whisper in her ear how much I love her and how I understand how hard it is to be disappointed.  She holds my hand in both of hers and eventually falls asleep.  See, I knew she needed me.

I don't know how I'm going to make it through the teenage years.  How will I stand it when she doesn't get invited to the party or asked to the dance?  This was a little disappointment that she will probably be over in the morning, but there will be more to come.

This parenting thing is hard in a million ways I didn't think of going into it.  I don't want her to learn disappointment, but she lives in this world and to try to fix everything would do her more harm than good.  But I will push myself into her bed and hold her hand through it (until the day she tells me to get out and leave her alone).  I'm sure that day is a long way off though!


TeamBortzfield said...

Oh goodness,I'm crying with Sophie. Good job Mama.

Grammy said...

My heart is breaking! I know my children had to live with disappointments, but SOPHIE? She of the tender and pure heart? I am thinking of the times you and Lindsey faced let-downs, and hoping that facing and dealing with them helped make you into the people you are today. I know God uses these little things to prepare us for what is to come in this fallen world, but it never diminishes the hurt one feels at the time as a mother, when one of your own is hurting. It is so true that you are only as happy as your unhappiest child. Hang in there, the ride is bumpy, but so worth it.