My dear, sweet girls,
Here's what I know to be true. With all my heart and all my mind. With my body, I know it to be true.
You are perfect. Already, right now, just the way you are.
And I'm afraid that the things I do, the ways I act, they don't always show that. Especially with you, BG. The truth is, you scare the crap out of me. (But don't say crap, please. Especially not in front of Grammy. Again.)
You are brave. You are strong. You are social. You know what you want. You hold true to what's important to you.
And mommy is so afraid of those things.
The truth is, there is a big part of mommy's heart that just wants to keep you safe. Wants to protect you from any and all possible judgment, hurt, and rejection. When you walk up to strangers at the playground and tell them you want to play with them, my heart is in my throat for you. Every time. I want to tell you to be cool, man, be cool. Don't try so hard. Don't let them know you care.
But I swallow it. Thank God I swallow it, every time. Because I don't want you to ever stop trying and caring.
And I want to protect you from ever failing, too. You know how sometimes when little sister wants to play with your blocks and you scream and cry and knock them over yourself so you don't give her the chance to ruin them? I get that. I totally do.
Sometimes I find myself looking up what to do with a spirited, sensitive child. I want to find ways to tone you down a little, to redirect you, to calm you. Maybe just a little more sensory input of some kind, a little more exercise, a little more something would make you ... would make you what?
I love you, and I love your big feelings, and I love your frustrations, and I love your bossiness. And I don't want you to ever think that I want to fix you, that I want you to be someone different from who you are. Because what a loss that would be.
And little sister. Oh, my heart. I worry about you disappearing. I worry about you not getting enough. I worry about you getting your feeling hurt by your sister's - let's call it what it is sometimes - reign of terror. I want to protect you too.
But you aren't at all fragile. You aren't breakable. You are subtle. You are calm. But you get what you want. And you usually do it without complaining or crying. You have a let up on the rest of us on that one.
And as much as I want to keep you little and innocent and pure, as much as I want to protect you, it isn't my job to keep either of you completely safe from the world. To paraphrase Brene Brown, it's only my job to remind you that you are loved and worthy and safe, even when you fail, even when you get rejected. To show you that it's okay to try.
So let me tell you what I know to be true about mommy.
I am imperfect. I make a lot of mistakes. I doubt myself. I overanalyze things. I veer to the negative. I criticize myself.
And that's okay. Because I love myself that way. I don't need to change, I don't need to be fixed.
I need to write. I need to put my writing out there even if I'm afraid of failure and rejection. I need to be willing to try and fail. I need to be willing to care. And it is okay that those things scare me. I don't need to wait until they don't scare me before I do these things. I need to do them right now, even when they scare me.
Thank you for teaching me those things, my sweet girls.