Monday, September 17, 2012
On Raising Mila
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.