Thursday, December 13, 2012

i see you

eyeballs!  
lucy...i need to see your eyes looking at my eyes.

arms crossed, scowl on her face...boring a hole through the floor to avoid my gaze.  
finally they wander up to mine...those beautiful, glassy, cyan eyes...the ones that can be cool blue one moment and warm green the next.  their colors change and so does their message.  

in that moment this afternoon they were hardened.  they were telling me i was not welcome here.  they were speaking of anger and shame and wanting to be left alone.  they were tiny glass walls of protection that seemed impenetrable.  for a moment i looked at them with contempt because they were keeping me from the place i was trying to get to.  they were keeping me from her heart.  
in an instant i remembered all the other precious messages those eyes have sent me over the past 4 years and i softened.

in those moments when i need her to see me...to hear me...i get so frustrated.  how can i make her see?  
see that what she said was hurtful.  
see that how she behaved was unkind.  
see that i am only trying to teach her.  
why won't she let my eyes really meet hers so that we can see each other?
...and then this...
how are my eyes reacting to hers?  what message are they sending?

later in the afternoon i felt tired.  12 days of fighting fevers and sniffles will do that to you.  when tiny bodies aren't healthy my heart and mind can fail me too.  my task list had grown too long and i'd had the 'eyeball' talk one too many times.

we had spun webs of arguments that ended with her little words packing big punches...

i am super sad that you are not playing this with me right now.
i went upstairs because i was so upset that you wouldn't get me a straw.
you are so mean...i will never do that!
sometimes i get so mad i just want you to leave me alone.

i'm not kidding...she is four and she says these things.  sometimes i wish i could be so honest instead of giving someone the silent treatment for two days.  the child can articulate her emotions...she can also express them a million different ways.

...so i was tired...

when she asked me to go play in the backyard i was in the middle of getting some work done and i really didn't want to go.  it was cold.  i had work to do.  did i mention - i was tired.

then this thought...this flying out of nowhere, slam my back up against the wall thought.

eyeballs!
she needs to see your eyes...
i shut my laptop and let my gaze meet hers.  there they were...like an invitation.  full of anticipation.  full of hope.  full of love.

i grabbed her hand and we walked...down the steps, across the yard, and onto the trampoline.  we jumped and we laughed and we tickled and we talked.

we saw each other.
my mind was so full with this one thought...

your eyes will need to meet softly this way millions of times so that they can ultimately stand up to the hard, glaring meetings ahead.

if our eyes don't meet when she is twirling around the kitchen in her princess dress...
or when she wants to do an art project...
or when she is trying to scramble eggs all by herself...
or when she just found the coolest worm ever on the sidewalk...
or when she is flying high above the trampoline...

if our eyes never see each other in those momentary joy-filled, life-giving, care-free moments...
     how will they ever face the other ones?

the ones that come on the tail of a big mistake, a moment of fear, a weakness to peer pressure, a loss of control, a fall from grace, a broken heart...

i know those heavy moments will come.  this child whose wild curly head still fits onto my hip will grow.  she will become too big for me to carry, too old for me to cuddle, too busy for me to rock...
     but i won't give up her eyes.  

i will fight to hold their gaze.  i will lock onto them in all the moments that she offers them because i know there will be days that to see each other will be a battle.  but it's a battle we must win.

i see you my sweet girl...i see you.