I've been a mommie for five and a half years and have two beautiful children. Part of me feels like life has always been this way -- the feeling of being childless seem so faint. Then there are the moments where I'm stopped dead in my tracks and have a major what the heck did I get myself into moment. Lately those moments are coming more and more frequently.
In case you don't know already, or if you are just living in denial -- being a parent is so freakin difficult. Parenthood is this crazy dance combining love and affirmation with a dash of discipline and a twist of pure insanity.
Add grief to the parenthood tango and it's just a huge party -- one that feels completely out of control.
It's so difficult to try to sort out all the influencing factors into Madison's **ahem, difficult behavior. Why is she acting out -- is she just acting developmentally appropriate and this too shall pass, is she tired and we need to slow down, is she sick or is she dealing and coping with the death of her little brother?
You see grief in a young child looks so different from adult grief. Young children do not have the capacity to put into words the deepest hurts that live in their hearts. It often comes in the form of defiance, longing for mommie and daddy to discipline just so she can put an emotional and physical feeling to the hurt deep inside.
Madison has dealt with her grief in amazing ways -- she talks, sings and draws all about her brothers life and the painful details of his death. She seems to do everything right and perfect but like I learned shortly before Gavin's passing -- death is anything but perfect, planned or predictable.
Last week Madison and I participated in Camp Madison -- a three day mommie and Madi event to celebrate good choices made and bad behaviors that have gone away. Each day Madi was able to choose one activity that we would normally not do, such as see a movie and she also planned the meals for each day. We ended camp with a family trip out to eat and made sure she knew just how proud she makes Mommie and Daddy every day.
I will probably never be able to sort out what is going on in her beautiful little mind. I can only choose to hold her hand and walk with her through her grief as much as possible. I'm learning not to make such a big deal out of the bad behaviors -- we acknowledge and redirect but there often is no need to let tempers fly. Rather Adam and I are trying to make a celebration out of the good choices our little girl makes.
I'm not a dancer and never will be -- just ask my husband. But I'm learning to conquer one step at a time. I can only pray God would take my crazy clumsy steps and make a beautiful dance.