The first few days of our trip were fine. We got along and worked together, but emotionally we still danced around each other. Both of us were a bit snappy and quick to see offense. Then one night we both blew. (I would love to say I was perfectly calm, but I cannot lie. My feelings were hurt and I was exhausted physically and emotionally) We finally went to bed but I slept little that night.
I spent the night praying and asking God to show me how to let this child of mine feel how much I loved her, how much she could trust me, how safe she is with me. About 4 am it came to me. Peace. At that point I knew what I needed to do. (I fixed this pic. I didn't realize I had made it too big and accidentally cut out Ashley. Don't read too much into that. It wasn't a subliminal Freudian moment…)
I had to let Ashley know that I was making every attempt to see things from her perspective. That it was okay the way she felt (even when I knew she didn't have all the facts). Her feelings were not wrong, they were legitimate. Instead of trying to show her why she was wrong because she didn't know everything, I just needed to validate her feelings. So I did. And we had the most wonderful discussion ever. She made the effort to see my perspective, too!
She is an awesome person. So intelligent, so loving, so empathetic. She is a very hard worker, too. I still think she is a very old soul in a young body. She just has an air about her that is other-wordly.
I know she loves me and she told me she thinks I am a great mother. We are just two very different personalities who went through a lot of pain in her first years. Hers was physical and mine was emotional. Do you know how hard it is to sit next to your tiny baby's hospital crib and hear the alarms go off and then stand out of the way why the staff works to get her breathing again? Do you know what it is like to hold her when they stick her tiny body over and over trying to get an IV line going, only to have the one they finally place in her scalp blow and create a huge goose egg? To hand off your little baby to strangers as they take her to the OR, all the time praying she is not scared and alone? She has every reason to blame me. I was the one constant when she was in pain. As hard as I tried I could not make the pain go away or comfort her enough.
She is an amazing person. I am blessed to be the one she calls Mom. I am equally blessed to be the one she blames. I want to be her soft place to fall, her rock, her anchor. No matter what, if she has pain in her life, I will be there, and she can blame it all on me. I will gladly do that for her!