Friday, June 6, 2014

Lundy the Wundy-ful.

Gosh this face. Oh this face, how I love it.

Tonight I plopped down into bed with London for a few minutes. She was devastated when the reality of 9pm had arrived, which meant an inevitably excruciating, unfair, tyrannical, cruel bedtime summoning. She cried her whole way upstairs, lamenting her existence and her life and her low status on the parent/child hierarchy.

She was exhausted. A long day at the pool only exaggerated the excessive amounts of adrenaline that were released the moment school dismissed for summer, and the crash had come. As she laid her head on her pillow I put my face close to hers and wiped her tears, feeling somewhat frustrated at this kid's level of emotion! She went on and on recounting the infractions of the day, all the ways that life was cheating her out of her full London glory. Lily pushed her in the pool. She was starving and someone ate her cheetos. Ellie Jane stole her Elsa doll when she had promised she would be Anna because yesterday London was Anna and it was her turn to be Elsa and she never gets to be Elsa because Ellie Jane is so mean and never listens and steals her toys everyday...aye yei yeiiiiiiii. The tears just poured down her little round cheeks, her nut-brown eyes glistening and her little lashes grouping tightly together with moisture. Aww, London.

I just laid there listening, in a state of annoyed bafflement. I was exhausted too.

Until, unexpectedly - like a whispering from heaven itself - a voice reminded me, "She's incredibly sensitive. Remember, this is her GIFT."

Suddenly my heart hurt. It felt like a stabbing sense of intuitive shame. She IS sensitive, I agreed. She is innately nurturing and thoughtful and so, so incredibly loving. Feeling is the way Lundy girl navigates life. Feeling deeply. Too often I get frustrated with her levels of shyness, the way small disappointments seem to weigh so heavily on her, her difficulty dealing with vocal praise or adoration, and her supreme distaste for public attention. I think, come on kid. Toughen up! Don't be such a cry baby! Thinking that somehow I have to coax her out of this. I too often take a hard stand. Falsely assuming that what she really needs is a dose of some kind of brute cynicism, apathy, or cold wit to shield her better throughout life. Life is rough, girl, so you best grow a pair. I mean. Uuuggg. I can be such an idiotic mother.


Earlier today, when it was time to leave the pool, Lily got to stay later with a friend who happened to be there. London felt this was entirely unjust. Regardless of my reminders that she had also enjoyed play-dates previously in which the tables were turned and Lily was not invited, she continued to pout and cry. Because of the incessant crying, I informed her that I had planned on taking her to get an ice-cream cone, but due to her melt-down and refusal to listen, she would not be receiving that privilege anymore. Enter the Londpocolypse.

As we drove away and she quieted her hyperventilating down briefly, I asked her if she remembered how we had previously agreed she was going to try her hardest to not cry over "little things" anymore. She said, "Please stop talking to me wight now because I don't want to hewe {hear} it and you're huwting my feelings." This is London's M.O. for any and all situations involving reprimand or instruction. I told her that was too dang bad and she was going to have to sit and listen. Avoidance/Denial strategies just don't sit well with me.
I asked her if she had ever heard the story about a little village girl who cried "Wolf!".
This peaked her interest.
As well as Ellie Jane's.
They listened wide eyed as I recounted the tale of the little shepherd girl on the hillside. The one who repeatedly cried out "wolf!" to get the villagers attention, even when there was no wolf and no crisis. Which of course, completely backfired the day she really WAS in crisis and the big baaaad wolf arrived with his sharp teeth and dark, beady eyes. Nobody came to her rescue, because nobody wanted to listen anymore.

"So what happened to the girl?" London asked.

"She got gobbled up by the wolf along with her sheep." I solemnly responded.

Deafening silence enveloped the interiors of our vehicle. Wide eyed horror on two little girl faces stared back at me from the rear view mirror.

"Derrrrrr....I mean, I think I got that part wrong...oh yeah! I remember now! He didn't eat her, just kinda chewed.... on her leg a little hurt but she survived..."

There was still a profound quiet after this story ended. Until London timidly broke in from the back,

"Got any more stories?"'


"UM, sure!! Oh boy do I!"

We went into the story of the Little Red Hen next. And that was the end of that.


I think I was gifted with a truth tonight when I was in bed with my precious London. I think the truth is that for my sweet, pure, sensitive, deeply introspective Lundy does merit some worthy tears now and again. It is hard when your sister isn't treating you nicely. It is hard to be forced to wake up early every day when your body yearns for sleep. It is hard to learn the orders of social play and friendship dates and age differences. It is hard to suddenly be at school among strangers, without your Mom there. It is hard to learn the rules of humor and jokes, especially when they sometimes come at your expense (even in good humor, this is a hard thing for a kid to learn). It is hard to have responsibilities every day. It is hard to have life largely dictated to you by adults. It is hard to have only been on this planet a mere six years and have so much to learn and absorb in an enormously big and complex world.

And you know what, Lundy girl is doing a magnificent job at life. What a good kid she is. What a perfect spirit. Tears, sensitivity, and all. I need to get out of the way a little more. Because, I think what I have on my hands is a God-sent little Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables). Which, if you must know, is pretty much my favorite character in the history of ever EVER EVER.

So, now if you'll excuse me, I need to go have myself a good cry for not having recognized this all a little sooner.

1 comment:

Lori Haack said...

Wow---what a great post and realization of a beautiful attribute of our little Lundy girl! XO Nonna