Wednesday, August 19, 2009
That Everett has made it to the ripe old age of 11 months is a testament to his resilience. The dude has had play-doh mashed into his soft spot, has endured bites and wrestling matches and extremely aggressive hugs. I picked up a copy of this book early in the week. You know when you do that thing where you read a parenting book and it has all of these, "don't do this" statements and you find yourself going, "Shoot! I do that." Maybe that's just me.
One of the best parts described acknowledging a child's angry feelings toward her sibling. Yesterday, Claire begins to hug Mister Baby rather roughly. Normally, I would say something like, "You don't want to hurt him." Only, I realized that she does want to hurt him. Instead, I said, "Sometimes you'd like to hurt him." She stops, mid hug, and looks at me with those huge blue eyes and says, "Yeah. I want to hit him and bite him and hug him and kiss him. And can we give him away? I want to give him away."
This began a conversation that she had been avoiding for nearly a year.
Somehow saying it, knowing that I knew how she was feeling and that it was okay to feel it, even if she couldn't act on the feelings, made all the difference. Her step was lighter. She's been saying all of these sweet things about how much she loves having a brother. How we should keep him. Which is good, you know, because I had planned on keeping him.
I think I was afraid of the dark part of her heart that really did want to hurt him. But that is exactly how we all are. Afraid that we're not enough. Afraid that we're replaceable. And I can tell you for sure that she is not replaceable.