Everything about Sara was uber. Uber smart. Uber talented. Uber needy. Uber physically strong. She was self-centered and had intense sensory needs. Our work together at The Thrive Group focused on seeing others and other perspectives, sharing her parent’s attention and satiating that intense sensory needs.
Join Sara’s mother as she shares the ups and downs of their mother-daughter relationship, the struggle of fully accepting a challenging child and ultimately, the pivotal role that love for a child plays.
February 26, 2017
“Look up and tell me what you see.”
Sara looked at Daniel with a puzzled look and then looked up at the large high ceiling at the Evergreen shopping plaza. She looked at him squarely and responded, “I see a broken tile.”
I know that Sara is my soulmate as far as mothers and daughters go. I know that our souls are meant to be together. I know that she is the love of my life. I know that I am in awe of her strength and determination, her way of bringing joy into every situation, her way of lighting up a room simply by entering it, I know that I cannot stop staring at her and admiring her beauty while she is awake and through pictures while she is asleep…and I know that I am the luckiest mommy in the world because I have her as a daughter. I know that she pushes my buttons like nobody else can push them. I know that she makes me feel powerless and exhausted faster and quicker than anyone I have ever encountered. I know that her wit, stubbornness and high energy scare me. I also know that I admire her character, maturity and confidence. I do like her. I definitely love her.
But maybe that’s what it all comes down to. Maybe love is not the surge of passion or the steady flow of affection for a perfectly behaved easy calm China doll-looking child. Maybe it is the choice to commit, no matter what temptations arise and no matter what perfectly behaved easy calm China doll-looking children are around. Maybe making the choice to be committed as a more calm and centered mom to a child with extreme needs and feelings is what love is, rather than lust or steady comfort, which is never having to make the choice at all. Every mom loves her child, but does every mom love her child for her who child is and encourages the mom to become? Maybe the choosing is what makes a relationship strong. It is easy to envy others’ easy children and to wish that my daughter could be like them. Sometimes I wish that I could trade her positive qualities just so that her negative ones could be gone also, leaving us with an easy robot. It is easy to focus on the negatives and get lost in them. But I make the choice to love Sara for who she is, and I make the choice to be her mommy and not just a mother, and to be her top advocate, mentor and rock, and to make my love about the sum of my choices, the sum of my giving, the sum of my choosing, the sum of my efforts, the sum of my admiration, the sum of my heartache, the sum of my fear, the sum of my commitment to her.
I think that my going to accountant school will make me a better mom than I was when I was a full-time stay-at-home-mom, even though my life was literally all about Sara at that time. I think that I owe it to her and to myself to find my own direction in life, as far as professional happiness, achievements and relationships are concerned, in order to better myself in my bond with Sara. Love takes two; two to give, two to be happy, two to love. I am the mom here, so it is my job to be the adult and do my part and more. Sara wants my approval and my love, and she is endearing and makes it all look so easy. Maybe my choosing to love her amid the manipulation, lack of gratitude, regard for others’ feelings and blood-curdling screams will make my love for her stronger, as well as the newfound confidence I bring to our mother-daughter tango.
I’m jealous of the way Daniel stares at me. He looks at me with such intense love in his eyes. Every touch from Daniel is filled with so much love and gentleness. He is so loving and nurturing. He tells me that I am the most stunning girl that he has ever seen, the most beautiful in the world. He tells me that Sara got her beauty from me. He is so in love with me, even when I am exasperated and literally exhausted by Sara. It doesn’t seem like Daniel makes the choice to commit to me and love me; it seems like it comes naturally to him, yet it seems like there is no love in the world that is deeper and felt more than Daniel’s. I want to have this love for Sara.
I will see her current friends and I will meet her new friends as the years go by, G-D Willing, and I will get to know their personalities and their easier dispositions. I will surely have opportunities to be jealous and wish that Sara could just. Be. Easier. I will see how effortlessly her friends become so close with their mothers as they grow up and I will have even more reason to be jealous and attracted to a fantasy… what will happen then?
Is making the choice to commit to Sara enough? Is it enough to be floored by her G-D given beauty k”h? Is it enough to laugh out loud as I recall such memories as three-year-old Sara telling Daniel’s grandmother that she could spit her gum on the floor because it is biodegradable? Is it enough to marvel at her love for sophistication and fancy foods? How about her keen ability to hone in on the most minute negatives amid a sea of positivity? Nothing is ever enough for her…and I am spent. How many times more can I find the love and energy from the marrow of my bones to stay strong and teach her the right way? How do you teach gratitude and empathy? Her fireball personality scares me. I know that I am an amazing mother, thank G-D, yet Sara lack of gratitude and unfulfilled satiation still creep under my skin. And then I look at her picture and think of her immense beauty and light in my life. And I think…
Is being absolutely and painstakingly in-love with my daughter enough?