I yelled at my daughter today. A loud, terrible, mean yell that was simultaneously cathartic and guilt-inducing.
"Why won't you just let me put breastmilk in your eye (with a spoon) so that I don't have to take you to the doctor?" I asked her, as she kicked, screamed, and fought her way out of my grasp. "WHY?"
She cowered through her tearful stare, as I raged like she'd probably never seen before.
The mother beast let loose - stress, exhaustion, frustration, and fear.
Oh how easy it was, when I held up her floppy head, and rocked her in my arms. Our conversations were about what an elephant says. Her questions were about snacks.
She was the only one. There were no deadlines, no sick siblings.
It has all changed.
I am still the parent, but my control is more transparent to both of us. As it should be. I am guiding a new person through this complicated world and steering her on a path that has yet to be created.
I am afraid to let her go and make her own choices. To possibly watch her fall. Maybe hard.
If she would only let me put the milk in her eye. If she would only listen. If she would only stay little.
She brought this letter to me today, and read it to me (in case you can't read Preschooler handwriting, the translation is below).
Dear Mommy, Quinlan loves you.
I know sometimes you get frustrated with me.
But I know you still love me.
At least there's hope that whatever message I'm trying to send is being heard.