Thursday, May 6, 2010
It is 9:40 pm. She is 9, and I have kindly or foolishly allowed her to watch the end of Ice Age...again.
"Sammi please brush up now."
(1 minute later)
"Sammi, brush up now!"
(3o secs later)
"Sam. Brush. NOW!!"
(she pretends to be stuck in the chair lolling her feet, tells me she can't get up)
"Sam UP! NOW!!!"
("I can't" she is laughing. Unfortunately for her...I am not.)
First she freezes.
I usually don't go this distance.
She is bawling in the chair and squirms her way out of it.
"Leave me alone," she says crying her way into the bathroom.
I am in the living room, crawling around, whisk brooming tiny relics from the day,then wetting a cloth and erasing the mass of black scuffs here and there. I am channeling my irritation toward sanitation. That usually works for me.
She stomps down the hall to her room, turns out the light and gets in bed. She returns, grabbing her iTouch which she uses for an alarm. I do not follow her. I know what's coming. If i wait a few minutes she will ask for me. If i go in there now, she will say "leave me alone", all the while meaning "come, i need you."
She asks for me. It is dark, but i can see her pained face.
"You hate me," she wails.
This is possibly one of the most difficult things to hear from one's child if she really means it. With Sam, sometimes yes, sometimes no.
"You don't like me. You yelled at me. You think I'm a pain."
I think she means it tonight.
But no matter how many times i tell her that I love her, she won't hear it or accept it until she is ready to let me back in.
"I love you, Sam, but I do not like the way you were acting. I understand why you would think that, but it simply isn't true. Even when I yell,I never stop loving you."
She has emotionally exhausted all the petals in her love daisy -- loves me, loves me not -- and has finally let me put my arms around her and stroke her hair. After a few moments, my eyes start to fill. She is so small and dependent on me.
I turn her toward me, "Sam, I've never stopped loving you for a minute." She looks right into me with those puppy dog deep dark eyes and we just hold each others' gaze for a few seconds before returning to snuggling. .. actually spooning. "Mom," she says, " don't go till I'm asleep."
I don't like it to get to this point. And it doesn't happen very often, but I have to say that making up with my daughter is better than any make up sex I've ever had. Yeah, OK. Maybe I just haven't ever had the end-all-be-all MUS.
Nevertheless, when we are lying there, and my arms are around her making her feel safe again, and I hear her breathing return to a calm rate... this is my personal heaven. I think I could lie like this forever, that there's this completeness that is so powerfully beautiful and also sad.