So my daughter can be one tough cookie. Something that never ceases to amaze me about her is how she deals with sadness. You see, when she is mad or frustrated or just plain tired she can cry like a champion. She could probably compete if there was such a thing as championship crying. But when she’s sad about something, she fights crying with everything in her. Like when she really doesn’t want to say goodbye to me or if her feelings have sincerely been hurt. You can see her eyes well up and her mouth turns into a frown. But she’ll fight the tears. She’ll run away, get silent, or even cover her face with a blanket. But she’ll refuse to cry in front of us.
Last night was one of the most gut wrenching moments I think I’ve ever seen as a mom. I was trying to clean up from dinner and get a couple of other things done. The kids were bickering (as they do) and were bored with anything I could come up with on TV. I came across Follow That Bird just as it was starting. Do you remember that Sesame Street movie from the 80s? Well my kids are not regular Sesame Street watchers anymore, but they still love it on occasion and they’d never seen this movie before. My son got bored after a few minutes and went to go play in his room. My four year old on the other hand sat through the entire movie.
It ended just as I finished the last of the dinner dishes. I came into the room to see Cheyanne standing there with her blanky. I saw that look in her eyes. They were filled to the brim with tears and her face was quickly turning into a frown. “What’s wrong peanut?” I asked. “Didn’t you like the movie?” She ran up to me and buried her face into my waist, fighting the urge to cry. “Ernie was so sad when Big bird was gone…” her voice trailed off and she buried her face back into me.
I whisked her onto my lap and sat on the couch as she continued to bury her face into my chest. I got her to look up at me and all she could say was “Ernie was so sad without his friend..” I said, “Yes, but what happened at the end?” She started to slowly smile and said, “Big Bird came home and Ernie was happy.”
I reminded her it was OK to be sad and it was OK to cry. After a moment she hopped off my lap and went back about her business.
This morning I asked if she wanted to watch Follow That Bird again. She said no. I asked why not. She simply said, “I don’t want to talk about it” and walked out of the room.