She is always knocking things down. Her lack of control over her own body, crashing into things and people around her, can take me over my not so far away edge these days. She is the tiniest, waifiest elelphant that has ever walked this earth. That long, lean body can make more noise than the rest of the family, plus the dog, put together. Just walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night, she is forever waking us up. We go to blows quite often. She pushes all the right buttons. She literally doesn’t know when to stop, always taking it a step too far. She is loud, oh so very loud. She possesses a never ending supply of energy that I have a hard time comprehending.
Yesterday we had a come to blows day. We were both a little more than the average Monday kind of cranky. It consisted of some snottiness, some quick to react-ness, some eye rolling, some loud sighs, some (tuned out) lecturing, some failed attempts at “better” and, ultimately, some hurt feelings.
On my end I know I was a ridiculous kind of tired. I was physically, emotionally and mentally tapped. I left work setting my expectations high for a quiet easy evening. I craved the space to just be, to not have to try, and to relax into some homey love. I was hoping. I was making plans. I was digging my heels in the ground for this peaceful dream. It would help me. It would make my life easier. It would be good for me. This is what was needed……..for me.
ME. Me me me. ME.
Well, my middle lady was feeling the same way. She had her own slue of exhausting experiences. She was also hoping to come home and find the refuge she craved. Time to be herself, all of who she is without apologies, even the loud bits. Eleven is no joke. How easily I have forgotten.
I put the girls to bed and climbed into my own. Finally, a moment to myself. Feeling both the victory of making it through, along with the sting of what the night had held, I took out my computer to write. Just as I was settling down enough to really let it all sink in, my middle lady came barreling into the room and headed straight into my bathroom. How is she so loud? and so stinkin’ cute? She is getting so old but in those PJs, my God, I am reminded of how young eleven really is. I take a deep breath and begin feeling pretty awful about our night of nastiness. I promise myself that I will talk to her in the morning. I will own my stuff. I will be the adult, the parent, and say I am sorry. I will give her the love she was so obviously craving.
Just then she comes out of the bathroom and directly over to the side of my bed. As I watch her, ready to open my mouth and say a bunch of words, she stops me by leaning over and giving me a massive hug. The kind that make you close your eyes and sigh. I am silenced. She hugs me for a good amount of time, not rushing any of the endless supply of love she has to give. She leans back, gives me a kiss and tells me she loves me. A lot. She asks what I am doing. I tell her I am going to write for a little while. With a sleepy yet knowing smile on her face, she tells me not to stay up too late.. Before she leaves, she reaches down and gets my blanket to cover me, telling me to stay comfy and warm as she blows one more kiss and heads back to bed.
How did she just do that? How did she become the teacher here? Again. She has been doing this since before I even held her in my arms for the first time, teaching me what it means to let love lead. She is my greatest teacher by far. And I get to be her mom. I get to know what it feels like to love and be loved by this force.
I am convinced that the elephant like presence is due to the vast amounts and endless supply of grace that this kid holds. I know for sure that she is going take this world on making noise, knocking things over, driving you nuts, and waking us all up. Her LOVE is that big.