Unconditional Love

Yesterday ended up being kind of a crap day. Another crap day in a whole string of crap days that have been going on for quite some time now. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just suffice it to say that I’ve been struggling a lot lately. Anxiety. Fear. Stress. Exhaustion. Maybe even depression, I’m not sure at this point. But whatever it is — it sucks. The reasons behind it are many, and most of them are completely out of my control to change, at least in the short term. So add “helpless” to my running list of things I’ve been feeling lately.

Last night I went to bed, alone, my mind racing. So many swirling thoughts and fears. It wasn’t long before the tears started. Tears that I’ve been holding back for weeks now, unable to allow myself to just have a moment of weakness. Unable to acknowledge that there might be a chink in the armour. But last night, they came. The floodgate opened up and allowed all the feelings to just pour out….all the sadness and fear and pent up stress that I’ve been weighed down with lately just came flooding out. A few minutes later, Kiddo crept into the darkened room.

Mommy….are you alright?” Apparently I hadn’t been as quiet as I thought I was.

“I’m okay.”

She came around to my side of the bed and slid beneath the covers, curling her petite frame around me, resting her head on my shoulder.

“What’s wrong?” Not wanting to weigh her down with everything that’s going on, I simply explained that I’ve been feeling really stressed lately and it was all just getting to me.

“It’s okay to cry, you know,” she said gently. “It helps let all those bad feelings out.”

We laid there together for some time, me allowing the tears to flow, her silently stroking my arm, allowing me to let out everything that I’d kept bottled up for so long.

“Cry as much as you need to.” She told me. “You’ve done this same thing for me lots of times.”

I was instantly reminded of all the times I held my crying daughter. How I cradled her body against mine, allowing her to let all of those feelings out for as long as necessary to help her feel better. I thought of kissed boo-boos, broken hearts, nightmares, disappointments. Every tear I ever kissed away. I thought of how much she is like me in so many ways, how she laughs easily, loves hard, and feels heartbreak just a little bit deeper than the average person. Some days it’s like looking at myself, 29 years ago.

Eventually my tears subsided. At this point it was getting late, and I let her know that it was okay for her to go back to her own bed. “Are you sure?” she asked. “Because I can stay if you need me to.”

“It’s okay, sweetie, I’ll be alright. You need to get some sleep.”

“Okay. Well….you need to get some sleep, too, Mommy. Because being tired AND stressed just makes you feel even worse.”

Sage words from my pre-teen. The exact advice I would give out myself, if the situation were reversed.

“Thanks, sweetie.”

Oh….and Mommy? You’re a really great mommy. And I love you…no matter what.”

Unconditional love. Exactly what I haven’t been able to give myself lately.

Thank you, Kiddo. I will always be grateful to be your mom.


2 Responses

  1. Just a reflection of yourself, my friend! You’ve taught her well. Hugs to you from the south. Also be reminded, I’m here for you, just like you’re there for me. xoxo

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