It’s no secret that motherhood is full of lessons. It is wonderful for bringing to light a kind of love that you never knew existed in your heart. It allows you to live gleefully through your kiddo’s imagination as you dress up as pirates and walk the plank across the baby pool. And you fully enjoy the empowering task of raising up men/women of character. But what they don’t warn you about is that motherhood can place a giant magnifying glass onto the worst parts of your soul. Sounds awesome right? (insert someone remembering to take birth control pill here….)
But in all seriousness, I feel like I’ve been going through this messy journey of self exploration for over 3 years now. I have learned about patience by trying to explain to my son through gritted teeth that “YOU NEED TO BE MORE PATIENT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!”. I have learned that I needed to be kinder to strangers when I realize that my son watches my every move and if I want him to be a kind man, he needs to see kindness in action. I have learned that if I want my son to share, I’m going to have to start sharing my candy…. but that one is still under construction.
My latest lesson? I have learned that I have a really hard time vocalizing when my heart is hurting. If I’ve been wounded in some way, I’m the first one to make a joke to cover it up or just shrug and say, “I’m totes fine. No worries man.” Because nothing says “I’m totally fine” when speaking like a hybrid mix of Valley-girl and Rastafarian. As my brother kindly pointed out to me the other day in so many grace-filled words “You’re being an idiot and if I hear ‘I’m ok, it’s fine.’ one more time come out of your mouth I’m going to feed you to the seagulls.” And he means it. He sent me a play by play of a seagull attacking a pigeon at Granville Island.
I had a situation with Bud the other day that made me realize I needed to start resolving this issue. Bud’s feelings were hurt at the playground. A kid didn’t want to play with him, blah blah, normal stuff. But my kiddo is a sensitive fella who does not understand why the entire world doesn’t want to proudly wear the other half of his BFF necklace. So he was sad. He walked up to me with his pitiful, defeated face with his lip hung so far out I thought it would get caught under his dirtied up sneakers and said, “Mama, he huwt my feewings” and he looked at me with this look. Moms, you know the look. The look that screams, “Fix this. PWEASE FIX THIS FOR ME!” And while I was tempted to jump up and grab this kid by the popped collar and explain to him that my son was delicious and precious and that kid would be LUCKY to wear his BFF necklace and while we were at it, he should probably just tattoo Bud’s name on his arm because Bud is THAT cool. But I didn’t. Because you know, I try to keep my crazy to minimum in public.
Instead, I looked at Bud and told him that he should calmly walk up to Bane Junior and let him know that he hurt his feelings but it was ok, he forgave him.
And here is how the rest of the conversation went down:
Well son, because even if its awkward, it is important to be confident in how your heart is feeling. If it’s hurt, let that person know it’s hurt. And even if they don’t apologize, you’ve shown that you are confident in yourself and your voice has been heard. And then we always forgive people because anger is exhausting. Do you understand?
I unduhsand. Did you see that squirrel over der Mama?
The lesson may have not been life altering for Bud, but it was for me. I kept thinking about that little conversation we had on the playground and I realized I had been holding in a hurt that hadn’t been voiced. So I came home and wrote an awkward and uncomfortable email to a friend that I had felt hurt by. Immediately I felt like I had done everything I could, even if I never hear from her again. My hurt had been brought into light. I had to learn that to be confident in myself, I have to be confident in my voice and in my emotions…even if it means sending an awkward email.
If you are holding anything back or trying to shove down whatever your heart is feeling, sweet friends, please stop. Your heart was designed to FEEL. Even if it is messy, irrational, or if you haven’t finished processing. Start feeling out loud! Be confident in your awkwardness, in your mess, in your pain. By bringing it to light, darkness doesn’t have power over it anymore. So start talkin’…..