The reality of parenting Pepper. Last week was drama camp. Something we’ve been talking about for 4+ weeks and she has been eagerly anticipating. All the preparation was in place.
So, Monday, the first day arrived.
She was bubbling with abundant energy.
What should have been a short three hour respite for me was a 90 minute drag out.
New things are unimaginably hard for Pepper. Despite all the tools we use like lead in, preparation and discussion. There is the general shyness and difficulty with transitions. People recognize these traits. It’s understandable and relatable.
But, then it turns to ugliness.
When she’s feeling most vulnerable; embarrassed, worried, unsure – she builds her wall up fast and hard. It’s a wall of ugly lashing out anger. An attempt to keep anybody and everybody away.
Her shyness comes across as obstinance.
Her fear the sound of disrespect.
Words are hurled like stink bombs.
Darkness clouds her dark brown eyes and her brows furrow into deep creases.
It takes practice and patience to not meet her anger with an equal dose of spite. I have got almost seven years under belt and I still speak the affirmation aloud.
Meet her with love.
I remind myself that love must always remain at the forefront despite the hateful spewage.
Love must always lead.
And, so we sat for 90 minutes in the back row of the theatre. We were committed to camp and we were committed to a three hour camp. I called into work and said I would be late. I adjusted the plans.
We waited and let the wall build higher, crest at its peak and then work its way down. Brick by brick.
With a hug of reassurance she moved up one row at a time until she was ready.
Ready to show her light and shine bright.
It is exhausting. And trying. Sometimes I want to stamp my foot and demand from the universe the answer to “why”.
Why didn’t I get the child who just arrives at camp, ready to go and excited for the newness of it all?
Why isn’t the shyness like a wilting wallflower that hides behind my back and tentatively peers out to see the surroundings?
Why is it so damn hard to remain calm amidst the shit storm?
And, why, must I remind myself over and over to meet her, the one who first captured and holds my heart fully and completely, with love?
Because I’m human.
Parenting tests me in ways I never could have fathomed. Lessons of love. Powerful battles of will. Acquiescences of strength.
I was made to be the momma to this firecracker of a girl. I am the best fit for the the job and she is my teacher.
I will strive to lead with my heart, remain patient and parent with love.