Saturday, February 09, 2013

Failing Parenting 101.

This morning SS was up earlier than usual (for a Saturday) and it worked out well, because we could make it to the post office as they opened.  On the drive home SS requested to see a movie, and chose Free Willy. P bought it for her last month and that movie has a special place in our family.  JJ liked it when he saw it as a child in Southern California, and got caught up in the save Keiko aspect of the story. As JJ approached his sixteenth birthday we were living in Northern California, very close to the Oregon border.  We jokingly asked JJ if he wanted to go see Keiko for his birthday (at the Oregon Coast Aquarium where he resided at the time), and he floored us by accepting. He was darn serious and we had a great weekend on the Oregon coast.  I had not seen the movie since that first time, so we came home, I put the DVD in and set out to get breakfast for SS.  As I brought SS's milk I realized what a stupid thing I had done by not screening the movie first. Because the opening scene is of three street kids, very hungry, scrounging money for food. I saw SS clearly flinch, but she quickly reached for her cup without taking her eyes from the screen and began to drink.

I returned with her requested egg sandwich moments later, still kicking myself for being such a dense piece of work. Especially now, when SS is so emotionally fragile.  When she saw me SS let out a loud cheer, "YEAH FOOD!!!", and had her mega watt smile. She accepted the plate, looked at me and said "I used to get hungry," then laid back on Hulk (her bear), took a bite and went back to watch her movie.  Many people strongly believe that SS (and any children who have experienced the same) has no recollection of her time at the SWI, but we equally strongly differ. She might not have explicit (conscious) memories of specific events, but she most definitely has implicit (unconscious) memories. No one knows SS like we do, no one has witnessed her very real fears that are deeply rooted in her past. But this was the first time that SS has made an allusion to anything other than her life with us.

I have previously posted about how SS has no interest about her birth family, how she came to be a part of our family. It's interesting that recently she expressed a desire in learning Chinese and being "a Chinese girl when I grow up." But we have decided that unless she is in extreme duress, we are going to let SS dictate the pace. That being said, her comment kicked me in the gut and went straight to my heart. I walked to the kitchen to text P about my monumental mistake and SS's comment. I had a difficult time typing because my tears made it difficult to see. P was not surprised and was certain the comment was about then, not now.  He reminded me that the first sign SS learned was more (in China). There were so many things I needed to be doing, but just could not leave SS's side. Our daughter is very clingy, so when she is occupied with a movie, Legos or puzzles, we high tail it to get things done. I stood in the kitchen and watched my baby eat. I have watched her eat so many times over the past almost five years.  But this morning was very different; this morning I cried for what SS endured, and for whatever else is to come when she begins to discuss those days.

SS climbed on my lap when things got serious in the movie. She was horrified when the bad guys made Willy's tank leak and was very upset. I reminded her that it is a story not real. I told SS I knew Willy was fine because we visited him after the movie.  Who knew that would come in handy fourteen years later? More important, I reminded SS that all would fine in the end, it was going to be a happy ending.  SS quickly perked up, made herself comfortable and we cuddled until it was over.  As SS was gushing over the title song at the end (she immediately knew it was MJ singing) and dancing around, my mind drifted for a while. I hope when things get rough in real life, that SS still seeks my comfort, and that my words and actions can provide that comfort.  Not because I am on a Mama ego trip, but because there is no worse pain than watching one's child in pain.

Goodness gracious Mama, it's 30 degrees outside, I'm wearing my PJs and rain boots. What's so important that we have to face the outside world at the crack of dawn?

Oh yeah, I need to mail B's, H's and Baby J's Valentine's goodies. Poor Baby J, she can't eat candy yet

Looks like Hulk is waiting for a bite. P is upset with me because I shoo him away whenever he lays on Hulk. He takes offense when I  remind him that 34 pounds won't affect Hulk but his weight (or mine) will end up flattening the poor bear.

All mushy thoughts aside, SS still had to do her homework. Our daughter is not one bit shy about letting us know what she thinks about homework.

In case we did not get it the first time.

Now she's on a roll.

Any questions?

Kids, don't listen to your parents, they are bold faced, habitual liars. Look at my amazing face, proof that your face won't "stay that way."

No comments: