High-strung Mommy

Self denial is such a cruel companion. Although it helps us feel good about areas that we would rather not investigate, it leaves us standing stunned like a deer-in-headlights (excuse my graphic description) when reality sets in.

Since birth I have often gazed at my lovely, strong willed, high-energy, high-need, smart, independent, sensitive, five year old daughter and thought “But, why? I just don’t understand.” As Mommies we often can become so caught up in understanding and dealing with our children’s intricacies that we forget that they were intricately and specifically designed by God, for a specific purpose. And that includes all the easy, and not-so-easy, to parent parts of their lovable personalities.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  (Psalm 139:13-15)

My daughter’s meltdown (full fledged tearful episode) over why the greater and lesser than signs normally point to the smaller number was only the latest in a long string of what I considered highly emotional, unxeplainable outbursts. I had talked to her pediatrician and he suggested that perhaps she was anxious. My husband found this explanation to be lacking, and I determined to see what I could do to calm her (and me) during these episodes. Her determination to justify and defend her point of view, when she felt she was right, wore unbearably on my patience, and yet was oddly reminiscent. Often we would find ourselves saying “lower your voice, Tigger” or “Please, calm down, Tig-pooh” with a strained voice and crossed eyes.  At this she would seem utterly confused regarding why we were singling her out. Since she was very little we consistently have had to help her calm herself down.  She often becomes so happily worked up that she takes a playful situation to the extreme. However, the most recent incident involved a decreasing willingness (or ability) to sit obediently during various Church activities. A brief meeting with one of her church-school teachers, during which I attempted to explain that she could sit and should be at the very least asked to sit, left me feeling shooed and disregarded.

Needless to say, I was bothered. Then, earlier today, I spoke to both a ministry leader and the teacher who both seemed to want to comfort me. I left feeling comforted, and was comfortable that Tig was in good hands.  Yet, as they each hugged me I thought, “Why does it seem that they think I am upset? I am not upset.

On the drive home, I pondered their reactions and realized that I wanted someone to talk to. I had been running all day and my spirits were high, but my energy level seemed very fast – as did my mind. To my dismay, none of my closest friends were available and suddenly a birage of memories flooded me. I remembered that up until several years ago I had often experienced people attempting to calm me, which only frustrated me because as far as I could tell I was calm. Memories of my mom telling me to calm down, cutting off our conversations or motioning me with a tired expression to slow down or lower my voice as a child raced through my mind. (It still sometimes happens as an adult, causing me to instantly want to shut down and go elsewhere. – I wonder how it makes my daughter feel.) I remembered more people than I could count remarking on how fast I talked or how much I talked. Yet to me it.just.seemed.normal.

Suddenly feeling weak and strangely self-aware I realized that I too am high strung. At 35 years old, I consider myself pretty laid back, calm, happy and normal. And I am sure that at 5 my daughter considers herself pretty laid back, calm, happy and normal. And you know what?

We are.

These Five of MinePhotobucket>