As predicted, the end of Lucy’s school year was not easy. I knew it wasn’t going to be good when one of her teachers told me--on her second to last class--that Lucy was acting differently that day (willful, disobedient). If there is one thing I know about Lucy it is this: she does not do well with change, specifically when it has to do with separation. She has been this way since the first day we met her. It doesn’t take much analysis to figure out why this is, considering all she went through in the first eleven months of her life. But as I was thinking about all of this, God’s most divine plan became that much more crystallized for me.
See, I was the same way as a child— saying good bye, leaving, transitions---all difficult for me. I have vivid memories of the time I first started going to a neighborhood day care, after staying at home with my Mom for the first 4 years of my life. I remember weeks of crying every night in my bed, not wanting to leave my mom the next morning, before my parents eventually removed me from that child care. Even to this day, departures and good-byes tug at my heart.
So, is it coincidence that God gave me a child who shares some of these same characteristics? It all seems providential in some ways to me, in that I very much understand this side of Lucy. I understand why she acts out or cries or is irritable when she is separated from someone she has become attached to.
|Making gold stars (her idea) for her teachers for the end of the year.|
On her last day of school, as all the other children were making their transitions quite gracefully, my little girl wouldn’t quit crying. Her teachers: “what is wrong?” “Lucy, what is it?” I didn’t need to ask her; I knew. I didn’t feel like explaining to others. I just understood and quietly empathized and cried with her. Even though I can understand the emotion, I know I will never understand the circumstances behind the deeper memories that are probably being triggered.
So, as the end of her first school year has now come to a close, I look onward with an array of mixed emotions to all the new beginnings that await us… new teachers, new classmates, new friends. And with these things, all the good-byes and separations that will eventually follow. I remind myself of my own limitations in preventing difficulties that will inevitably enter into Lucy’s life. But I find resolve and peace in knowing there are a few things that I can do. Embrace my daughter for who she is and what her history means to her. Change and grow as the circumstances dictate. Know that as the transitions continue to ebb and flow in her life, she will grow to trust we will continue to be there for her, in our own limited ways. And most importantly, find peace in trusting that she will gain the confidence she needs, through each experience, to believe in herself and her abilities to manage the ups and downs of this complicated thing we call life.
Happy end-of-the-school-year to all you Mom’s out there!