There are those times that as moms we only see the misbehavior. The fact that our child didn’t listen. But we need to take a step back sometimes. See why. See their hearts.
Last night I took a step back and realized I’d made a big mistake by only seeing the misbehavior…
Tonight I failed you. You cried and I think I broke your spirit a little.
I’m up unable to sleep.
I apologized to you, but it didn’t seem like enough.
I tried to wake you just now. I wanted time with you to make it right. You were fast asleep and didn’t notice my attempts to rouse you.
I had blinders on tonight. I was in focus mode, instead of feeling mode.
I was focused on getting you and William to bed by myself.
I was focused on letting Daddy sleep because he needs the rest.
I was focused on our plan. Our plan to start your bedtime routine early, and you to play quietly in your room while you waited on me to feed William and come to finish putting you to bed.
So, when William got tired and hungry early, and starting screaming while we were brushing your hair and teeth, I got stressed. It was silly, but I did.
I was starting your routine early, so I’d be able to deal with him and not interrupt our time together.
And in my stress, as I was changing William through his screams, when you entered his room all I could focus on was that you weren’t doing what I’d asked- playing quietly in your room.
I reminded you of our plan and asked you to please listen and go to your room to play.
When I had to repeat myself 3 times, I got frustrated.
In the moment, I didn’t let myself lose focus.
I didn’t let myself notice that you’d brought your blanket- probably because you just wanted to sit quietly with me as I fed your brother.
I didn’t let myself see that you weren’t getting a chance to ask if you could join me, because your brother was crying.
I didn’t let myself see that I was too focused on our plan.
And when you left the room, and your father got up because he heard you crying, I didn’t let myself see your sadness.
I was focused on the fact that Daddy was awake, when the whole reason I was doing bedtime alone, was to allow him to catch up on sleep.
I didn’t see you tonight. Not until it was too late.
Not until the house was quiet. You, William, Daddy and the dogs were all fast asleep.
Then it hit me.
I went in your room twice tonight.
The first time, I saw you sleeping, and just tucked you in and gave you a kiss. I decided not to bother you.
The second time, I’d decided to just wake you up.
I knew you’d be thrilled to come have some Mama time. And I wanted to tell you that I saw you. I wanted to tell you that I saw your heart.
But you slept. Unphased by my talking and touches. Unphased by my mention of cookies.
And so I talked.
I told you how I’d been wrong.
I told you how I’d been blind and regretted every moment.
I told you how after you’d left, I’d wished you’d stayed.
I told you how I longed for time together with you more than ever, and that I ache when I think about how we only have one more year. One more year before you leave me every day, all day for kindergarten.
Our lives have so much love in them with William here. But I miss us. I miss our time. I miss my focus on YOU.
You are sensitive. Just like me.
You notice every look in my eye. Every tone I may or may not realize that I have. You feel more than most people can fathom. You are so in tune to your own emotions and others.
You are so incredible. Your heart is so beautiful.
I see myself in you. And so I know. I know that your heart broke as I asked you to leave.
I’m sorry. So very sorry.
I love you more than words can ever say.
I expect more of myself. Especially since I get it. I know exactly why you came into the room and ditched the plan. And I know exactly how you felt when I asked you to leave.
Far too often I was told I was being too sensitive. I wasn’t. You aren’t. My heart feels everything to its core and it allows me to feel what others feel. You do that. So beautifully. And tonight I stole that from you. As someone that gets it, it was unacceptable for me to do.
Tonight you just wanted to be thoughtful and kind. Tonight you were choosing me instead of extra playtime. Tonight your heart was so true and so loving. And I didn’t even let you express your intentions to me.
Tonight I let myself down. The countless times I wish others had understood my intentions but it was lost on them.
And so I want you to know that I see you. I feel you. I understand you.
And I will do a better job.
I love you.