While it seems all the parents in the world dread the first day of summer, I look forward to the much-deserved break from homeschooling. I sat down on the couch and was engrossing myself in a task when my emotionally maturing 6-year-old sat down, frustrated again about something she couldn’t do. This moment can really only be understood when you realize I have been working so hard to help her. Part of the reason she zaps me of patience and energy is our personalities clash. Her brain ticks to a different tock and mothering her takes more effort, creativity and patience than I ever really knew I had. That has been the case since the day she was born. But, much more recently I have been trying to help her learn that mistakes are part of life. When her art doesn’t come out right, or her sister pushes her buttons, she goes to ultimate frustration in zero seconds flat and there is just no talking her down. She is very hard on herself. She is intelligent, but is deeply affected by others' feelings. She has a flair for drama and this of course makes me crazy .Basically I got smart awhile back and realized that the only way to ‘control’ her was to teach her to police herself.
So, here I was on the couch. She came up totally in a negative place and I began to talk to her eyes. I gave her examples of why she is her worst enemy. I explained the learning opportunities she has been given. I explained to her everything that I believe to be true about her personality. I explained my baggage in the whole mess. And then something happened I had not anticipated: my daughter started to cry. It was like a release of pent up emotion masked in a realization that it was actually a good thing to believe in herself. Her tears were my glimmer of hope that I am finally beginning to parent her in a language she can understand. There are still frustrations, but at least we are on the same playing field and that is really saying something for the two of us. I know, this kind of growth could only have been achieved by the secure attachment we have together and by being present at the exact time she needed it. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom and I don’t do it for me, I do it in spite of myself as using my college degree seriously appeals to me, it is the right thing. Motherhood is not just a job, it is a life that transcends all others.