I had a really bad day yesterday. Things from the past came rushing up to smack me between the eyes and it left me feeling breathless. For most of the day, everything I did was done with tears rolling down my cheeks. It didn’t stop me, but I had to be gentle with myself and allow myself to feel all the emotions that crashed over me like waves. I had to breathe. I blew my nose a lot. I did accomplish the things that needed to be done, and some things started falling into place. Yet I was aware, when I headed out to pick up the kids, that I was in a tender place.
When my oldest daughter returned to the table in tears with her craft partially finished, my heart went out to her. She looked like I felt, and I asked what she needed to feel better. She let the tears flow, shook her head at my offers, excused herself to the bathroom for a while. She told me she felt slighted by the staff person at the craft table, felt she was deliberately skipped over until supplies were gone. It hurt. She felt it. I let her. Maybe fortunately, I wasn’t in an energetic position to do anything else.
She returned from the bathroom still tearful. I asked her if she wanted to leave or if I could help in any other way. She lay down in the booth and shed a few more tears, then she sat up, wiped her eyes, held up her craft, and said, “I want to finish this.” I watched, then, as she returned to the craft table and went to work. I heard the staff person say, “I broke your heart?” Saw my tearful big girl nod, observed another staff person come over and take her by the shoulder asking what had happened. My daughter talked to the young woman, told her what happened, and allowed a solution to come forth. She finished her craft puppet and returned to the table with a smile on her face.
To say that I was proud of her throughout this experience is something of a serious understatement. This is my self-proclaimed shy girl. My girl who is hesitant to look a person in the eye when speaking to them. My girl who tiptoes around the edges of her friendships for fear of rejection. This is my girl who is learning that it is okay to speak up for yourself, to acknowledge her hurts and open her heart. This is my girl from whom I learned a lesson of courage that allowed me to be brave in standing up for myself today.