I don't know where they come from sometimes...
When I find myself in tears over an exchange I've had with my beloved child, I can rarely articulate why I am crying.
Tonight was a rough bedtime. Angel had had one meltdown after another all evening. I imagine there were some frustration/at-the-end-of-my-rope tears in there....
She was tired because I let her stay up too late last night, so there are probably a few guilt tears in the mix...
She flipped out one last time and I put her her crib (not terribly gently) and left the room while she hollered after me.
...tears of fear and bewilderment. How do we get to this place?
Once she calmed herself and the screaming stopped I went back in, stood at the crib and asked "Do you need a hug?"
...tears of regret
As I lifted her from the crib and went to sit in the chair with her she asked...
"You have to forgive me, or I have to forgive you?"
...tears of a fierce desperate love that sometimes threatens to overtake me
...and maybe some tears of appreciation that we have these
conversations at all?
"Probably a little of both," I told her. "Your behavior was very bad... and I could have handled it better. Hopefully tomorrow we will both make better choices."
...some shame tears hidden in there, because I am the adult, and she is the 3 year old, so probably only one of us should be making bad choices.
"No," she tells me, as she lays limply on my chest. "I will fight all the time."
...tears of sorrow that her beautiful little heart is holding anger
"Then I guess we will have a lot of sad times..." I tell her.
She requests the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children" and she sings it with me.
...tears of joy that she seeks this comfort after hard times.
As I hold her tight and kiss her forehead I wonder what parts of this night will stay in her memory. I think back to my childhood and what I remember of my mother. I remember many many songs at my bedside. I know there were some very tearful nights as I begged for something or other that she did not relent to, but I think the songs and snuggles are the overarching theme to my memory. I hope it will be that way for Angel one day...
...That she will remember the desperate love over the desperate tears.