Have you ever watched your child doing things that they love but noticed sadness in their eyes? In the curve of their tiny lips? In the slump of their shoulders?
I've noticed. Sweet daughter of mine dances, she plays with her dolls, pounds away on the piano, paints...and she loves all those things, but her eyes are not hiding what is inside her slowly mending heart. Happiness seems to escape her right now. Sadness envelopes her in some moments and rains on all that she loves, creating puddles of sorrow mud.
She is not overlooked, but it would be easy to do it. She is not the loud one with her most personal feelings. She is the one who wants to make everyone happy, who wants to serve everyone else. I have purposed to talk with her over the past two months to make sure she knew she could come to me, that I am hear for her, though I sometimes wonder if she thinks that she is here for me.
And maybe, in some ways, she is.
In those quiet conversations when I go to her and say things like, "Your thoughts and feelings are important to me. How are you today," she tells me truthfully each time. Some days, she wants to talk; some days she does not. Some days, she looks away and her shoulders sag, and I know what she feels without hearing any words.
Today, she came to me on her own accord. Relief flooded my own sorrow puddle and joy droplets seemed to fill the hole.
She is sad. She is learning what her triggers are and sometimes avoiding them. Sometimes not. She expressed this herself and I thought to myself,
"She is mine. We are alike in this way."
I was so proud of this little girl of mine for telling me. I was so thrilled to be able to scoop her tiny self into my arms and hold her like the little girl she still is. We snuggled on the couch silently for a while as I stroked her hair and kissed her forehead. We needed each other. We needed quiet. We needed to remember.
I know there will be more moments like this, and we will keep talking, and we will keep snuggling in silence.
Tonight, she is hyper and loud, her normal, with a smile spread across her lips as laughter escapes her mouth. She is beautiful. She is sparkling.