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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Beautiful Circle of Life

I pull up to the building, with my nerves buzzing in my head.  I know this building; I've been here many times.  I adjust my hair and saunter in.  I'm directed to the elevator and I smile a little.  I know this elevator, as well.  It opens up to a familiar room and I sit and wait and tears build in the back of my eyes and I berate myself a little because I absolutely cannot have tears in my eyes for this moment in my life...

My oldest was 4 when I walked in to daycare and was told that she was exhibiting very aggressive behavior which they knew was so unusual for her, having known her since she was 10 months old.  I saw her teacher standing with a notepad and she told me she's been "documenting" her behavior.  I couldn't believe MY daughter was being "documented."  I'd done it myself to other kids but... MY daughter?
She was barely 4 and she was so broken and so angry and there was nothing I could do and it broke my heart every day.  She acted like she hated me half the time - she would yell at me and tell me she didn't want me to be her Mommy anymore.  In my head I knew I was just the only one she felt safe enough with to lash out at.  In my head I knew she was just testing me to see if I would leave, too.  To see if she pushed me hard enough, would I break and leave her.  She needed to know how strong my love was for her.  But, in my heart, it broke me, too.  In my heart all I knew is that my life was hers now.  Hers and her brothers and that I'd do anything!  I was doing EVERYTHING I could to make their lives good and happy and safe.  And, somehow everything wasn't enough.  Some days I was strong.  Some days I wasn't.  There were moments when I cried with her. 
She had just been through too many things she didn't understand.  Divorces, deaths, separations.  She couldn't wrap her little head around it and she couldn't understand.  All she knew was that people leave and things change and it was scary to her.  So, she lashed out.  And, as hard as I tried to be everything she needed, I was exhausted!  A young single mom with two little kids and a full time job, I felt I was just hanging by a thread a lot of the time.
So, we went to counseling. Once a week for about a year.  Every Thursday I would take her and I would sit in the waiting room for an hour, thinking mostly about her and hoping that one day we'd all just be okay...

And, here I sit in the same waiting room.  It's a different program here now, not the counseling place anymore.  But, still, here I am, waiting for a job interview.  Almost eight years later and I'm no longer waiting for my baby girl to get out of a counseling session.  She's a pre-teen now and she's at home, cheering me on as I take a big step and venture on to a new career path.  She's healthy, happy, secure, beautiful, and sure of herself. 
I think about the scared, tired single mom that used to be me and I think about the copy of my Bachelors Degree I'm holding in my briefcase.  I think about how far we've come since I used to sit in this room and I think about all we've accomplished.
How can the tears not be at the surface right now as I thank God for his blessings?  For answering the fervent prayers of an exhausted young Mommy who just wanted her family to be whole again.  And, we are.  And here I am, so far away from where I started.  And I'm thankful and humbled and so blessed...
I take a deep breath, I sit up straight, and I will those tears to wait.  I'm not her anymore.  I'm strong, I know who I am, and I know what I can accomplish if I set my mind to it.  I've proved that to myself.  And, I can do this, too.
And, I do...