“If I could give you one thing in life, I would give you the ability to see yourself through my eyes. Only then would you realize how special you are to me. “– author unknown
Every day I see articles about the perfect things to say to your children, what you want them to know at every specific age to show them you love them….and I read them all, I devour the information on what I should be doing to ensure my children know that I love them more than anything else in the world. Unfortunately, most days the message gets lost somewhere between reading each and every word several times over and when I walk in the door to the chaos of after work and after school mayhem.
Last night in the rush of getting homework done and dinner on the table, and out the door to whatever the nights activity happened to be (all of those details long forgotten) and in the heat of a tantrum about being rushed out the door, my 9 year old, said, “I ruin everything, no wonder you don’t want me anymore”…words that I will never forget. The rest of the night is a blur, but that moment, those words are clear as day. It is the farthest thing from the truth in my world, but for her it was reality and in some way I made her feel that way. What could be worse than thinking the one person that would love you no matter what, doesn’t want you around anymore? I can’t think of anything worse. And I did that; I made her feel that way. Instead of showing her how much I loved her, and that I because of that love, she would never be alone, she was in fact alone, scared and lonely. There was a truth in her voice and in her eyes that said that spoke volumes; this was actually how she felt.
At that moment, there were no words I could offer for comfort, nothing I could say to make that feeling go away. I of course offered that’s just not true, I love you, I always want you, etc…but they were words to her, nothing more. It was my actions that she was hearing and they were delivering a different message.
If I could have given her anything at that moment, it would be the gift to see her through my eyes, but I couldn’t do that, so instead I need to show her through my actions and her eyes. How do you undo those feelings? I don’t know the answer, but I know I need to not only try, but to succeed. And that starts today. Today is the day I start her healing and because of that mine. I am not perfect, but I will do everything in my power for her to never feel that way again…because of me.
Today I will hug and listen instead of being distracted.
Today I will stop and observe instead of rushing around.
Today I will make a choice, to live life instead of manage a household and a schedule.
Today I will make my daughters my first priority.
They may never be able to see themselves through my eyes, but I will make sure when they look in the mirror they see the most amazing, special and loved girls I know.