Saturday, August 21, 2010
Maintaining the Connection
I've been really sentimental and emotional lately. Even catching glimpses of "Bethenny Getting Married?" on TV will make me tear up. Seeing the usually bitter, acerbic Bethenny Frankel get all mushy and gushy about her new baby daughter takes me back to the wonder and the profound love that smacked me over the head when H entered our world. I wonder if it's this bad when people have more than one child.
Anyway, we came home about an hour later, and I went upstairs to chat with her. She had a different idea. When I think of it from her point of view, (long week, emotionally drained, needing to decompress) I completely understand, but it was still difficult for me. She was in her bed, watching some mindless TV, and I came bursting in wanting to hear all about her night. She did NOT feel like sharing...just didn't have the energy. I reverted back to childhood and kind of stomped off, then she felt guilty and apologized. Not the outcome I had imagined or wanted for the evening.
experiences at Adventure Treks, Operation Smile, and Design Camp at NCSU. She is discovering things about herself, and in an effort to develop that sense of self, she feels the need to rebel a little against my control. I know that...my common sense tells me I need to let go a little bit...but my emotional side keeps fighting back.
We're making some progress. The good part is she's developing a really good connection with her dad. They walk the dog together, or have lunch together, and she is telling him more now than she did as a young girl. I do bite my tongue many times when I want to ask for more details than she gives, and try to keep my tidbits of "advice" which she always sees as criticisms, (are you going to wear that? I like your hair better this way, etc) to a minimum.
In other words, when she pulls away, I'm trying not to pursue as hard. She does always come back. Every now and then, when the stars align, I am in her bedroom when she feels like talking, and we have some wonderful discussions and connect in a way that gives me hope for the future. I think she reaches out when I don't push so hard.
So my hope for this school year, is that she continues to find out more about herself...her goals, her dreams, and who she wants to be. The only way that is going to work is if I let go. Not all the way. Just more than I have in the past. We will always be bound together, but I'm going to give her some slack in the rope.