On Raising Mila

9/17/2012

Being a parent is hard you guys. Like really hard. It is a very rewarding experience...how could you not beam with pride when your baby says his first word? Takes her first step? Gives you a solid kiss on the cheek at night? Heartwarming is an understatement. But look there are very real moments when I want to run into the bathroom and huddle in the corner with a roll of toilet paper and bawl my eyes out.

Mila is a challenging kid. She is very full of love, but she is also shy and wary, and is easily upset and startled. She doesn't like seeing Gorbie get a bath because she senses that he hates it. She worries when we tie him up outside the grocery store while we shop and screams most of the time for her sweet doggie. She doesn't like new places or meeting new people. She often screams endlessly when we are anywhere but our own home. She cries when I leave the room, or if I won't hold her. She feels emotions very intensely. Not just her own, but those around her, whether they be animals or people. I have a feeling she is going to grow up to be a very empathetic and caring person. Someone who will get in the car at 3am if she knows her best friend needs someone to lean on. Who will nurse sick birds back to health. Who will cry if they die. Who will be cautious and aware, and will someday hug her own children with intense and deeply loving strength.

In my own heart I know all of this. But being the person who serves as Mila's guide, as her safety net, as the person she turns to when these emotions get overwhelming and upsetting for her, is often a very overwhelming feeling for me as well. I want to make her feel safe and comfortable and I want her to relax around new friends and family members, but conveying this to a 19-month-old presents a set of real challenges.

I'm not really sure why I'm sharing this with all of you, but I think it has something to do with the fact that our little blog has become so much more than a place for pretty things. It's part of my life. It's part of Kirby's life. And sometimes I forget that there are other people out their going through similar challenges or completely different ones, but have that same overwhelmed feeling of "how do I get through this?" I don't have an answer to that question, obviously, or I probably wouldn't have had to write this in the first place, but I do know that I will. Even if it means taking smaller steps and taking in the world one breath at a time. Maybe, after all, that is what Mila is trying to teach me.


11 comments:

christin said...

Mila sounds like a very sweet girl who will grow into a wonderfully caring woman.

Susie said...

Thanks for sharing this – I think in all the "pretty" that we share on blogs, it's so nice to hear some raw and real sometimes. I'm not a parent yet, but have a nephew just about Mila's age and I've watched my sister go through many of these same emotions as he develops into a little human being – crazy, intense (but awesome) stuff!

Sea and Swank

Gaby [The Vault Files] said...

She sounds like she has a big caring heart, and that's one of the best qualities a person could have ;)
Being a mom I think I understand your frustration so stay strong and be patient, that's all we can do right?

Meg {henninglove} said...

i think we need more empathetic people in the world like mila. she will be very caring, very understanding and very loving and it is no accident that you were picked to be her mommy and your husband her daddy. what a special post alexa thanks for sharing

Alex said...

Mila sounds like her heart is just so big. She's going to be an amazing woman, and I'm so glad she's in our world :)

natasha {schue love} said...

You're an amazing woman and mom Alexa! And Mila is so lucky to have you. I appreciate your honesty...you rock!!

Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

loved this post. you're a great mother and mila is such a sweet little girl! thanks for sharing...i think it was time for you to write it all out. part of the blog experience i guess.

hugs.

Susan said...

Mila is so blessed to have you Alexa. I bet that even she can't vocalize it yet, she really appreciates everything you've done for her, and everything you will do for her. She sounds like she is going to be a great little girl, and she definitely has you to thank for it. She's so special Alexa, thanks for sharing!

Mandy Crandell said...

My wish for you is that Mila does keep that big heart. Stay strong!

Skin and Blister said...

I love reality check posts like this.

Lucinda said...

Beautifully written Alexa! I too have a sensitive soul to raise..very challenging yet knowing that they will be empathetic people when they grow up is so wonderfully rewarding...hang in there kid...you are doing EVERYTHING right!!