THE TALE OF THE UGLY EARRINGS
Sometimes Courage Doesn't Always Roar...Sometimes It's Just Wearing a Pair of Ugly Earrings.
Written January 5, 2020
So Lilly and I had a rough day. One of those days when personalities clash and things SO get under my skin. She was driving me crazy!! I had to step away to gather my composure, reset my attitude, and hopefully readjust the trajectory of our day. So with Dad fully in charge (he's amazing!), I went upstairs, showered and prayed that the bad juju would wash down the drain.
When getting dressed and finishing getting myself ready, I remembered the earrings—these horribly gaudy earrings Lilly bought for me for Christmas from the Christmas Shop at school. Christmas morning I opened them and she said, “These are WAY prettier than anything you wear.” (Sometimes saying something nice is hard for her even when she's trying to be kind. She's quite adept at passive aggressiveness even at the age of 6 as the need for power and control is REAL for her—Thanks trauma. But that’s a subject for another day).
So the earrings…Today I put them on. Wasn’t exactly sure why at first—a sign of goodwill, a way of showing her I do care even when she drives me bat shit crazy, maybe to put a smile on her face when most of the day has been spent in disagreements. So here enters me wearing the earrings. Besides their “lovely” appearance, these things are unbelievably heavy. My earlobes feel like they’ve been transported to one of those African tribes where humongous earlobes are the thing. But I'm doing this for my girl right?
Here comes Lilly, piece of paper in hand. She looks right at me, sees the earrings…nothing. She points to the word on the paper she's holding and asks me what it says. “Notes,” I say. She replies, “No, it says 'not-ess'.” I nicely respond, “It doesn’t say 'not-ess' it says 'notes’.” Her response to this, “You said 'not-ESS.’ I said 'NOT-ess'.” So what's her response to me answering the question she asked—she points out that I mispronounced the word she read incorrectly. (Again power and control) She walks away after this and I'm still standing in the kitchen with the dumb earrings on. No reaction from her, no smile, no reset, just another attempt on her part to assert “dominance” over me.
But you know what, the earrings are still on. Because really when it comes down to it, wearing them wasn't really about her. It was about me saying I'm going to get back out there and try again. I'm going to try to fill this exhausting, mostly thankless job called Mom to a child who still struggles to feel like mine. There's no guarantee that feeling will ever change, although it is my prayer that it will. It is the desire of my heart that one day the smell of her hair will give me that warm “this is home” feeling. (If you're a parent you know the smell and feeling I’m talking about.) But until that day comes, I'm committed to keep trying.
There's a saying, “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow’.” This adventure does not really look and feel the way I expected. There have been some rare, beautiful times when it just clicks, and then there are moments like today when my act of courage is just wearing a pair of ugly earrings.