I was completely prepared with this blog post. I was! I had a letter to hormones all planned out. Stupid, stinking, aggravating, unfair, child-robbing hormones.
Daughter has been going through some serious hormonal shizzle lately and I had just about had it. Monday morning was the single worst morning we’ve had together (that I remember) and she was utterly unbearable. There was a lot of yelling on her part. I’m proud to say I managed to keep relatively calm throughout the screaming ordeal. At one point I raised my voice when she accused me of being mad at her for the twelfth time and I finally said, “I wasn’t before but I sure am now!” She kicked the seat in front of her, punched her own car seat, and let out a few formless yowls of frustration. It wasn’t pretty. Instead of driving through the drop off lane at school I pulled into a parking space and had her try to calm down before getting out. No dice. She wound up leaving and stomping off down the sidewalk still shouting and crying about how I never let her do what she wants and I get to do whatever I want. I was so good in this encounter that I never even mentioned that she could only stomp off so glamorously because I bought her new fall boots. I never brought up that we had just returned from a trip to the renaissance faire. Never said that she has more toys than most stores. Nope. I didn’t.
Still, I was pretty mad when I pulled away. Who is this mean thing that has come in and replaced my nice kid? I know “it’s just how they are at nine” and “hormones are so hard,” but come on! I didn’t sign up for this. I’m sick of this jerk and I want Daughter back. Ugh.
This morning went differently. After the usual not pleasant but not unpleasant morning rituals, Daughter ran to her room quickly before getting into the car because she forgot something. When she came back I could not help but notice that she was clutching dollar bills and coins. Her hands were full with what was clearly all the cash she possessed. Huh. Weird. There’s no school store or anything, so I was curious. I try to let Daighter make her own financial decisions right now because it has been helping her learn quite a lot about money, advertising, and herself, but my curiosity got the better of me.
As we drove along I had to ask, “Hey… what’s all the money for?”
“Oh. I made a new friend. She’s really nice. Her grandpa has cancer and they don’t have a lot of money. She’s scared. I wanted to give her what I had to help out.”
Just like that, Daughter was back and more amazing than ever. In that moment I remembered that it isn’t really about the small things. It’s not the irritability one day or the sleeping in on a Monday or the refusal to shower once in a while. It’s not the fighting sometimes. It’s not the yelling or he seat kicking. It’s the big stuff. It’s this. This is who she fundamentally is, it’s present in the big things, and I’m so proud to be her mom.