Dear Little Sister,
You are developing faster than your big sis, in part, because you have a big sis. You want to be cool and wise and older like her, and at the same time you love hugs and jumping on me and being silly.
But I see you struggling to want to grow up. I see you practicing with your words, trying out your voice to be like your sister’s, except she’s emulating the struggle of teenage adolescence and not always getting it quite the way she means. Or sometimes she’s just mean. Because teenagers are mean.
So then you become mean. And I don’t even think you realize it. And so I told you today to be very careful with your words. Like the other day, after you overheard me talking to big sister about how to let me finish speaking without interrupting—and she continued interrupting, I asked her to stop it and let me finish. Big sister and I finally worked out what was happening, and then she washed her dishes and went upstairs to do her homework. I asked you how you felt when you overheard that, and you said I was ‘yelling.’ And I said, really? That’s what you heard? And you said yep. And when I told you, sister, I was talking just like this. Does it sound like yelling to you? And then you said, fine, you weren’t yelling.
This worries me—did you really think I was yelling, when I wasn’t? Or, maybe, because you are similar to me and you can pick up every feeling in the room, you ‘felt’ like I was yelling, because big sister was using her mean voice and I was asking her to be more respectful.
Then this morning, on the way to school, everything was fine, you were talking about how you love the jacket aunty bought for you that you were wearing, and I said that’s so nice she got that for you, and you asked me if I remembered what she looked like, because you couldn’t. And I said, she had a nice face, one that looked kind, and I hoped she was coming back soon to visit you girls and dad, and you agreed and we bounced along into the car. I played your favorite radio station and you were singing along. I reached back to hold your hand and you patted it and then said you didn’t want to be a baby anymore and you wanted to be older.
And I said that it’s okay to just be you. Then you said you didn’t want to be just the same little kid and you wanted to grow up and you said, I don’t want to be a spoiled brat and I was like oh honey you’re not a spoiled brat. And you got all worked up saying, in your mean voice, yeah mom I’m not a spoiled brat, you make me a spoiled brat because spoiled brats are when rich parents buy their kids everything they want and you buy everything that I want.
And I paused, and I said, honey, please be very careful with your words. You have to choose your words wisely, like the other day, when you said I was yelling and I wasn’t. Words can hurt so that’s why you have to be very careful. You were upset and I asked you if you were listening, and you said no, with your mean voice.
So I said fine. And then I said, I get you what you need, but I don’t buy you everything you want, I couldn’t possibly afford that.
You were angry with me, I saw your upset, scrunched face and then it was time to be dropped off. And I’m sitting here wondering what happened, in one minute everything was fine and lovely, and the next, was it because I reached out my hand to you? You got all triggered and upset and now I feel like the shittiest mom in the universe.
Because it’s later, now, and I’m out of that moment, and I’m seeing the bigger picture…you just came home from dad’s—after an extended time with him. He is angry that the time swap negotiations didn’t go ‘his’ way (he has a warped vision that my giving him more days than he’s ‘losing’ is a lose, because one of the days that he’s giving me is a date that I actually asked for two months ago…)
And I’m wondering if he’s taking it out on you.
Because you have never heard me say you’re a spoiled brat. I can only imagine where you got those words from.
And you have never heard me say that one parent is rich (though you have heard him say that to you, as you and your sister have shared that with me many times). Even though he flies you first class with his new girlfriend’s support, you have never heard me comment that he is rich or he spoils you.
I’m sorry your intuitive nature soaks up his words and thoughts and low opinions of me.
I’m sorry I wasn’t more patient and understanding of this struggle that you’re going through.
The one thing that I didn’t screw up, even as you stomped out of the car and didn’t want me to help you with your backpack, is that I was sure to tell you to have a good day, that I love you.
And as you walked into school, I could see in your face that you didn’t want to leave me with things upset, so I rolled down my window and said, bye, I love you! (Not too loud, lol, because like your big sister you are starting to get embarrassed by this kind of stuff, and luckily, no one else was being dropped off right at that moment) I know you heard, because you nodded and walked inside.
p.s. Dear spirit guides and guardian angels and all the powers of love and light in the universe—please let my youngest (and oldest) always know how much I love them, how I accept them, how I wish for them to be at peace and know they are loved.