Well, no, it wasn’t my party and no, I wasn’t crying.
It was my daughter K’s Christmas party this morning. I volunteered for it, and I was pretty happy even though I procrastinated just about everything I could to get ready for it. I was able to get everything done. I stayed up late to finish packaging the little presents (a little puzzle and some flavored chapstick) I had for K’s friends, and to wrap the presents for the teacher and aide, and ran out this morning early to get treats to eat in class. I even had time to shower and blow dry my hair nice.
I arrived at school on time and was feeling really relaxed (for a change). It was going to be a good day…or so I thought.
My highly sensitive daughter had a bad day at her party. She cried three times in class.
The first time was because I handed her teacher and aide their presents and she wanted to give them to her. Then she fell on her bottom when she went to sit down just seconds later and the chair wasn’t there.
The second time was because I wasn’t going to send her to a babysitter like I thought, since my husband is home with the flu. She was really looking forward to it. After all, it was different toys to play with.
The third time because she wanted to play another game, but since Santa showed up unexpectedly, they had to leave out the last game. I said, “but at least you got to see Santa”. To which she wailed, “Yeah, but he wasn’t even the REAL Santa”.
I know exactly what sadness and disappointment feels like, sweet child.
I did my best to console her, letting her in my arms to cry a bit and acknowledging her sadness and giving her a hug and a kiss.
She did bounce back each time, after a moment or so of tears. But I understood exactly how she feels.
I had my share of sadness this week (this year?) too. Sometimes I wish I could just curl up into someone’s lap, get a hug and a kiss whenever I needed it. It can help alleviate the pain of sadness and disappointment.
I’m glad for my child’s sensitivity, now. She has taught me a lot about my own sensitivities, even though I am sorry to say, I had a real hard time with it not too long ago. Her emotional breakdowns triggered something visceral in me. I would react with panic and anger almost anytime she fell apart, and I have often wondered if her reactions triggered something from deep within me that I could not cope with. Perhaps it’s the lifetime of being turned away from my mother when I needed her most.
I think I have grown enough to welcome her into my arms and help validate her feelings, and am moving in a direction (thanks to a friend’s recommendation) of using a particular book to help me dig deeper into those feelings called Creating Real Relationships: Overcoming the Power of Difference and Shame. Because even though I can control most of my negative behaviors, I still have traces that flare up enough to cause me to hurt others. It’s time for a major, lasting change.
I’m grateful to my friend, and I can’t wait until the book arrives. I am really looking forward to doing a lot of work in this area. I think I’ll be posting some of the things I learn.
At any rate, time’s almost up. I have to get ready for party #2 today.