Be Happy

Be Happy*

Clarabelle has been working through a lot of anxiety and stress.  I waver between a broken heart and wanting to scream at her.  The first few weeks of school she was doing great, maybe even better than great.  At that time Pix was the focus of concern.  We were trying to get Pix through her days at Kindergarten.  Once we got Pix settled, confirmed that Sprite has been doing great with preschool, Clarabelle started to go downhill.  Hours of crying at night, more crying in the morning.  She worried about doing her homework wrong, doing badly on a test, forgetting something important.  She was a wreck.

All of these emotions came on slowly and I found myself doing the dance that we do.  I talk way more than I should, while CB explains every reason why my solutions to her problem aren’t good enough.  “It’s OK if you don’t get a perfect score on your test, as long as you try.”   Rebuttal, “But the problem is….”  This is CB’s most favorite phrase, ever.  “The problem is….”   You know what the problem is?  THE PROBLEM IS… anxiety sucks.  Depression can bite the big one.  The fact that my 9 year old deals with this on a daily basis?  I can’t put into words.

This is where I gather all my strength, patience, wisdom, anything that can get me through, and deal with it.  My first plan of attack was patient understanding.  This didn’t work out very well.  I think that CB needed a warrior and she ended up with a cream puff.  I was too rational, too calm.  I just wasn’t getting it.  Then I got tough.  I let CB have a good cry, then looked her straight in the eye and said, “You’re better than this!!  You are so much more than these tears, this fear.  You are mine and I we don’t go down crying.”  Then I growled at her.  and she laughed.

Clarabelle is still working through all of these emotions and coming to me for hugs when she needs them, but I’m starting to sense an emerging confidence.  She isn’t folding as quickly.  I see her starting to rationalize her feelings more.  When she comes to me with her fears, she starts talking herself out of her feelings instead of explaining why they are valid.  The problem is…less.  Less is so much more.

*A gift from my dear friend, Bethany.  I look at this vase all day long and remind myself to Be Happy.

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5 thoughts on “Be Happy

  1. Be happy.

    Clarabelle got you as a mom because you were the one that would be able to help her, and you are helping her. I’m sure it’s hard and we always feel like we could have done more, should have done more, need to be more – and it can be hard to remember, but we need to remember that we are enough in just the fact that we try and give it our all. You are an amazing mom that has way more patience than you give yourself credit for.

  2. I’m having the same problems with Suki.

    I kept her home on Monday because she was sick all weekend with a stomach ache which led to her getting a canker sore.

    Monday we had spaghetti for dinner. We also made spaghetti squash.

    She came to me crying that it made her mouth hurt. I told her to either eat the spaghetti squash or get new noodles and put butter and cheese on them. She said it wouldn’t help because the noodles were too big. After five minutes I convinced her to try cutting it into 1″ pieces. It was either that or don’t eat any dinner because we aren’t making anything different. She agreed, but was not convinced. Afterwards she gave me a hug and said thank-you because it worked.

    Sometimes being tough is the only way to help. She has to get it out, but when it’s your turn to talk she can’t interrupt. She has to be willing to listen to you and HEAR you. You understand what she is going through. You can help, most times, but not if she won’t let you. I have this conversation with Suki weekly.

    I hope she, and you, feel better soon.

  3. Rebecca is right. Emily got you as a mom because you are exactly the mom she needs. Even when you feel like you’re floundering. 🙂 Trust your gut, you know your kid. And your kid is awesome. She will be just fine with you and Jeremy to guide her and love her.

  4. Good post. I’ve been dealing with a little of that with Bug. (Crying at school, drama etc) I think I’ll try your approach. My cream puffiness wasn’t cutting it either.

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