Monday, September 14, 2015

Letting Go, Little By Little...

Before moving on, I would like to clarify one thing after last week's post Our Anger Management. I do still get angry. There are times when I feel that Jordan's decisions and actions, especially during the whole college application process, are not going in the direction that they should. It drives me nuts, because I feel that my way would lesson her stress and anxiety. But I am not the one who is going to college. I had my turn. What I try to do differently today, is that I choose not to lash out and share my frustration and fearful, panicked feelings with her. I take time to process my emotions, and then I attempt to calmly make suggestions, without having a negative tone in my delivery. (This is quite a challenge for me). This can only be successful if done at a time when she seems likely to be receptive towards tips from her mother. She is a teenager, so as you can imagine, there is a small window of opportunity for the success of this scenario.

At nineteen months, Jordan still continued to amaze us every day. It was like magic watching her learn about her surrounding world. She yelled at Jake, our Pug, saying “mine mine” and “no no!” Her favorite thing to say was  “oh man” when something wasn't going her way. It was at this time that I began to notice that she was becoming very timid or scared of people that she didn't know. She would put her hands over her ears when she was confronted with anyone new. She came to visit me in the hospital when her sister Kayla Summer was born, and she walked into the room with her ears covered. When she held Kayla on her lap, for that ever-so-popular photo opportunity, and said the word "baby".  This was when I realized that she was still a baby. A baby holding a baby. Now we had two. When Adam went to take Kayla from her, she screamed “mine!” and began crying. I knew then, that this was going to be a bit challenging.

My parents, who were visiting from Florida, now affectionately referred to as Grandma Weeze and Grandpa Tony, held Kayla. Again, Jordan yelled “mine!" What she trying to get across to us was that they were her grandparents, not Kayla's. She had no intention of sharing them with anyone else, not even her little sister. She was a little girl with a big attitude. 

But I began to miss my attitude filled girl. It felt like I was losing touch with Jordan since Kayla was born. Although she was in the same room with me most of the time, it used to be just the two of us. Now I was nursing Kayla a lot, and Jordan was hanging out with Adam and Grandma Weeze and Grandpa Tony much more often. I realized that this was a good thing, me slowly letting her go, but it hurt. My big girl didn't need me as much as she used to. And human nature led me to have feelings of resentment towards our beautiful new baby girl.

Now, aren't hormones a joy? Resentment towards my newborn baby. Nice. Fortunately, these feelings of resentment did go away after the hormones settled down.

I was still in physical pain, getting up at night to nurse Kayla, and then I had to take care of Jordan the next day. She began to wake up earlier each day, and she was taking only one hour naps. When Jordan was tired, it was rough. When I was tired, it was rough too. Now when she cried before bedtime, I felt so badly for her. It made me cry. To me, it felt like we were going through the same emotions. We were both confused, tired, cranky, and feeling lost. Like our lives were out of control, and we were just trying to find a routine and some comfort. I loved her so much. I knew why our lives had changed. I made the choice to change them by having another baby. But she didn't understand. All she  knew was that Kayla was in my arms every two hours, and during that time I couldn't get up or play with her. Even through all of this disruption in our lives, she was still giving us hugs and kisses all of the time, and this included Kayla. She was such a sweetie.

This quote makes more sense to me than I ever thought it could, now that we have three teenagers. When they were young, I would have rolled me eyes at this concept. But as your children get older, as you are forced to slowly let them go, there is an indisputable truth to it. 

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I just hoped that I had enough patience to do this job, and to do it well. I have hoped this same thing so many times, during the past seventeen years and eight months. No one wants to make mistakes, but inevitably, we all do. The fear is that our mistakes will have a lasting negative effect on our children's futures. The optimistic side of me likes to think that this is not true; that our support and unconditional love is enough to ensure the success and happiness of our kids, no matter what their struggles and issues might be.  

Thank you.

Us Too

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