evy screamed in pain for her poor ears, which was the saddest sight.
the doctor was reluctant to let her leave his office, even after administering ear drops, pain reliever, and an antibiotic prescription. i honestly think he couldn't let her leave without knowing she'd be okay.
so that meant waiting.
she cried and cried, "i want to go home."
i told her, "i know, but the doctor says to wait." he came and left and came and left, offering juice and popsicles and stickers, but always saying, "wait ten minutes more and i'll be back to check."
it was a trial for us all.
what an amazing opportunity to witness young evy in her darkest hour yet. she was beyond uncomfortable and in open panic. i rocked and rubbed, sat and soothed. mostly i let the moment wash over me, must have been the fourth-child-calm setting in.
what caught me by surprise was the grief and doubt she expressed, the way she talked to herself in that moment. she said, "he's not going to come back" and she felt it was true.
her words added to a little theory i've been formulating. here it is...
when our children are in their formative years we accidentally pass them our problems. then we spend the next decade trying to teach them to overcome the very issues we gave them.
so evy battles with negative self-talk.
young years of motivating her with words like, "run! you're not going to make it in time!"
i promise i didn't mean to. i was just making life work the best i knew how.
back then i wasn't very nice to myself, either.
it wasn't until i really addressed my depression that i figured out how mean i was in my own head. few you can do its and almost theres. many you're failings and your best is not good enoughs.
i try to remind myself that my voice will echo in their heads for years to come. in some ways i was a little late realizing that one, but that's okay. we all pass some of our baggage along, despite our deep devotion.
so how do i coach them through it? how do i help them get out of that spiral?
lately i've been asking, "would you ever say that to a friend?"
evy cried, "he's not going to come back." i asked, "if you're friend was hurting the way that you are hurting and you were here with her would you tell her that her doctor is not going to come back?"
"no," she whimpers.
"you would give her hope. you would say something helpful and supportive, right? what would you say?"
"you wouldn't be so mean to a friend, so what makes it okay for you to be that mean to yourself?"
matt taught me that. maybe i've told this story before but it's just so perfect i have to tell it again.
i was showering and he was using the bathroom mirror. he didn't know i was watching but i was spying on him. he fanned the mirror-cabinet and a stick of deodorant fell out of the shelf. like a ninja he extended his hand at the perfect moment. looking at his self in the mirror he uttered, "nice catch, matt."
now, if ever he witnesses my plunge into negative self-talk he simply says, "nice catch, megan."
i've found some amount of peace in my weakness as a young mother, though i still struggle greatly on occasion. i feel as if my flaws are part of the plan.
hey, look, they've got them, too. like seeing my little freckles in their character.
so, we have some friends who told us a dinner tradition they had when their children were young. the kids could say anything they wanted about the quality of the dinner as long as they said, "but good!" at the end.
this lasagna is crunchy-burnt, but good!
my chicken is spongy and cold, but good!
matt and i tried to adopt this food tradition but it didn't ever stick.
instead it turned into a complaining tradition.
my day was so long and boring, but good!
i feel like total garbage and i puked twice, but good!
i need a nap, but good!
we've made a huge mess that will take a decade of work and faith to repair, but good!