On Friday night the girls and I went out to eat at our favorite restaurant. While we were there we ran into a couple who has known me since I was a kid. We adults are in contact through Facebook and we run into each other here and there, but they don’t happen to see my children too often. They came over to our table to say hello, and told my girls that their mom is a gifted writer. Very sweet indeed, but my ten-year old was more than a little surprised by this, as my writing isn’t a part of myself I have shared with her much.
My friends went on to tell the girls that I had written wonderful things about them (the girls), and that they sure do say some very funny and interesting things. I could see from the look on Beau’s face that she was concerned about what I had written. She wasn’t sure if she should be embarrassed. (My eight year old didn’t seem to be paying too much attention to the whole exchange).
Despite the most lovely intentions on the part of my friends, I felt terrible. Once they left, I tried to reassure Beau that what I had written wasn’t anything that would embarrass her, and that I would read some of it to her when we got home. She brightened.
I do most of my writing at night, after the girls have gone to bed. One day Beau did see me writing, and I told her I was writing about my feelings. She asked me if she could read it, and at the time I said no. I am not really sure why. I mean, “Mommy” has a bit of a potty mouth sometimes, so there are a few entries that won’t be appropriate for her to read for a while, but some of them – most of them – would be fine. I don’t really know why I was keeping it private from her (especially since I am sharing it with all of you!). I guess I always imagined presenting the finished product (a year’s work) to the girls at some point in the future…
Was I waiting until I felt stronger, before I would reveal that I ever felt vulnerable?
Wasn’t I being a bit of a hypocrite?
Ummm, a huge hypocrite?
When we got home I offered to read the girls some of my blog. Ruby, as expected, was uninterested and instead chose a story about kings, princess and enchanted forests (how can I complete with that?), but Beau was all in. I read to Ruby her fairy tale, and tucked her into bed. Then I nestled into bed with Beau. I started by reading aloud the entry about her. It begins with me recounting a conversation she and I had. As I read her own words back to her, and she realized that I thought what she had said was so wise and so beautiful that I wrote it down and shared it with people…she was beaming.
I tell my kids that I love them every single day (usually multiple times!), but right there, in that moment, she felt seen.
It was powerful.
Next, I read to her the one about her sister. She loved that one too. Then we read the one about Miskiania and we both cried, and then we laughed that we were both crying, and then we cried some more, and laughed some more…
And in the end, I felt seen by her, too.
Honestly, it was one of the most beautiful bonding experiences we have ever shared.
Isn’t it funny how experiences that make us feel awkward or uncomfortable can often lead to beautiful truths being revealed?
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