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To Cora

Li’l Bit, this is a tough time for you right now.

You, my friend, have such a big heart. And as we’ve talked about – a LOT – recently, Big Hearts tend to have Big Feelings. And sometimes those Big Feelings are hard to control.

Which means you’ve spilled more than your fair share of tears these past few weeks.

Here’s what happens: you get cranked up about something – Maddie not wearing the correct headphones, or my not remembering that you’d already cleaned the litter box – and then have a really hard time getting around it. And you feel like no one’s listening to you, and you get angrier and angrier and more and more frustrated, and you lash out. Like, physically, with your feet, or screaming, with your voice.

And then you burst into tears and collapse on your bed, sobbing. For a long. Time.

I’ve learned a few things over these past few weeks. For one, I should not EVER try to hold you while you’re wrestling with your emotions. This does not go over well, and you crawl and scooch and drag yourself across the bed, wedging yourself into a tight, tiny corner as far away from me as possible.

And while this was originally incredibly hurtful to me, this rejection of my motherly offering, I’ve since learned that you crawl away not because you’re trying to hurt me, but because you think you’re not worthy of my forgiveness/grace/love.

Oh, baby.

So I don’t push it any more. I lie on the bed next to you, reading a book to myself, until your sobs slow and your hiccups calm down. And eventually you scooch close to me, or start talking about some unrelated topic, and we gradually reconnect until you’re imprinted against me, forehead to toenails straining towards my heart.

And then we get down to the work: talking about what happened, and where you got off track, and why it’s ok to get off track sometimes, and how we ALL get off track sometimes, and THAT’S OK because God loves us ANYWAY!

I offer up morsels from my own childhood, stories of my falls from grace or my unearned meanness towards a friend or – more likely – a family member. You listen, and your portrait of me in your head gets a little more defined, moves a bit more away from pastels and into oils. These nights can take hours – literally. But I take heart in the fact that they now take, perhaps, one hour, instead of three.

I will be honest, dear girl: there are nights that I don’t think I’m going to make it through to the other side of these storms. I sometimes want so much to simply yell at you and storm out, to put my own hurt ahead of your own and crawl away to lick my wounds in peace.

But I stay, because you? Are worth it. Hands down, no questions asked, without a doubt, worth it. And I NEVER want you to think that your emotions make you unlovable, or that your actions make you unforgivable. We serve and amazing Savior, and there’s grace enough for all of us from him.

And if he can suck it up and stick it out with a sinner/crabby person/selfish mommy like me, then I can stick it out through a few tantrums with you.

I love you so much, C Note. And we will get through this, and come out the other side even stronger. You are an amazing girl, and I love the journey with you.

Even the tough parts.


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