Yesterday during my nightly bedtime ritual with my 5 year old daughter, there was a massive meltdown. What may first comes to mind is that my daughter didn’t want to go to bed, started fighting it, etc. but you are wrong! The meltdown came from me.
I had a tough day and felt mentally exhausted. There was so much going through my mind and I couldn’t make it stop. I was sad about it being the 60th birthday of my father who passed away 34 years ago, felt frazzled about things at work and just plain tired from being a busy mommy of 2. Basically, I was at my wit’s end. I couldn’t hold it in any longer…and started bawling on my daughter’s Elsa & Anna pillow case.
This was not just a ‘tear in my eye’ type of a cry. This was a lip quivering-meltdown cry. Tears were flowing and I could barely speak. I thought about getting up from her bed and walking out to regroup myself, but I knew that would freak her out. So I stayed and tried to gather myself and my thoughts.
While I pulled it together, my daughter HELD it together for me. She got me tissues, played with my hair and told me (literally) “It’s ok to cry, mommy. We all have sad days.” Through my tear-filled eyes, I watched her console me in the sweetest way. I felt bad for crying and apologized to her. I started feeling guilty that I hijacked her routine. She went on to say, “You never have to apologize for crying!”
My heart melted and I dried my eyes a bit more. I saw such sweet compassion on her face. Such love and concern in her eyes. It was absolutely beautiful.
I typically roll out of her bed right after she falls asleep. But I laid there for a bit longer last night as she held my hand. I started to think about how mature she was in that moment…but quickly remembered how young she still is to have been that ‘with it’. I felt such pride that she had it in her heart to show such compassion for someone else in their time of sadness. I realized that the things she was saying to me were the things my husband and I say to her and her brother. I was SO incredibly proud.
As adults, we often times hold in our feelings so our kids don’t see them…and sometimes that is the right call. But last night, I cried in front of my daughter and she made me feel SO much better. Not only about the situation and the tough day I had, but that we were doing right by her and teaching her to be sympathetic to others.
Crying never felt so good.