Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Little Girl

The little girl left for school every day wearing some derivative of a red plaid dress with a black pattern leather belt that matched her shoes and her folded down bleached white cotton ankle socks.

Every day, usually just before she arrived, and sometimes during recess, she threw up.
Every day she walked back home because she had soiled her dress or socks or coat, and on really bad days, everything.

When the little girl opened the back door and and stepped into the kitchen, her mother was there waiting to hug her and tell her how brave she was.

She helped her little daughter change into a set of fresh clothes that were already laid out on the back of the kitchen chair. W within five minutes, the little girl was on her way back to school, where she was the teacher’s favorite and popular and comical among her peers.

The little girl is now a mother herself. She cannot imagine having the patience to clean vomit and prepare a second set of dress clothes every day. She loves her own daughter, but she cannot imagine this level of enduring patience. When she tells her friends about her childhood nervousness, she holds back tears when she says that her mother’s message—in word and deed—was that she was a courageous and strong little girl, never a shameful or difficult problem.


The little girl who is now an adult knows that this message resonates with her still, and maybe that is why she is able to take risks and engage in life even when she throws up.

Give Yourself a Break.

11 comments:

  1. Wow, K, I relate. Here's my question (since it's part of my struggle): What if Mom wasn't the type who always conveyed that the little girl was strong and brave? What if she often was the exasperated, exhausted mother who was tired of cleaning up vomit? What if she conveyed the opposite message to the little girl?

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  3. a--my guess is that the little girl is still wide open to the assurance that she is strong and brave (since it's totally true) and she would love to hear it from the adult who knows her best (guess who that is...)

    (:

    kj

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  4. Thanks for that -- you're right about who she needs to hear it from. It's just hard sometimes to really believe it. I'm trying!

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  5. Great reflection, kj :) But I want more of the hole story ;)

    A--kj's right...keep it up!

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  6. I want to always give my daughter the message that she is courageous and brave and strong and good, but sometimes I am the frustrated exhausted mother who is tired of cleaning up vomit.

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  7. alicia, me too. i'm sure my daughter wouldn't say i was a happy
    mother when she threw up!

    so nice to get your comments!

    (love) kj

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  8. I told my daughter this story today, and she loved it. She asked me to print it out so she could draw pictures for it.

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  9. this makes me smile! the pictures will be the best.

    kj

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  10. amazing...I think I was always too afraid to be a mom, don't regret it one bit, but always wonder what I would have been like...

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