And still miss something.
Today was a rough day. Standing in the bedroom, folding fresh out of the dryer linens, my cell phone rings. I generally ignore it because my car warranty doesn’t expire for another four year so I’m good. The phone number caught my attention. It was the middle school calling.
My mind immediately went through the days schedule because we are in a busy season around here. With a school play and basketball season, timetables are everything. I ran through the middle schoolers morning checklist thinking perhaps she’d forgotten something at home. She’s amazing but messy and forgetful despite my best efforts. Prepared to give her to standard “just because I’m home doesn’t mean I’ll run over there talk”, I was surprised it was the guidance counselor.
Our conversation was brief but my heart hurt nonetheless. My sweet girl, my walking sunshine wrapped Hurricane, went to the guidance office expressing thoughts of self- harm. Not my child, I wanted to scream as I tripped over the fallen laundry in attempt to get to shoes. She’s always so happy, I wanted to yell as I dropped my keys for the third time. I can tell when somethings not right, I wanted to cry out as I backed out of the garage faster than advisable.
I managed to hold myself together by prayer and sheer will as I sat and spoke with her counselor. My kid needed me strong, not falling to pieces. My heart raced because I couldn’t quite reconcile the bubbly child I sent off to school with the sad shrunken person with tears in her eyes in my lap.
I know my kid. She has all of the emotions. And then some. She works herself up and I have to climb on the ledge to help talk her down. She feels things so strongly and so deeply. She talks to me when things upset her. But, maybe there are pages in the story she skips. Perhaps, she excludes paragraphs afraid of what I might think. It breaks my momma heart to pieces. For all the watching that I do, I missed something.
I missed something.
Those three words make me feel like the worst mom on earth right now. My bright shining star, the baby of this chaotic bunch, is struggling and I missed it. I’ll beat myself up over it for a while because that’s who I am.
I’m forever grateful she felt she could open up to her teachers and counselor at school. It tells me just how amazing they truly are and that they care about my kid. I just wish she’d talked to me too. I can’t fix what I don’t know is broken. I can’t help if I don’t know that it’s needed. I wish my mom radar had detected this first and helped her. But, I’m glad she talked to someone.
You never really know the struggles of anyone, regardless of age, until the curtain is pulled back. If my own personal Snow White is struggling, how many more kids out there are struggling? How many of them feel like this and don’t have someone to turn to? Someone who cares enough to make sure they get help? With so much going on in the world around them, how many other kids are buckled under the weight with no clue how to say what needs to be said?
Check on your little humans. Check on their friends. Check on their parents. Check on yourself. Hug until the pieces fit together again and spread love everywhere. You never know what someone is struggling with. Especially if they don’t show the struggle.
I’ll wrestle with my mom guilt eventually. Right now, today and for however long it takes, my focus is making sure one of the brightest lights in my life doesn’t dim and fade out. The world needs her light and I’ll do whatever she needs to help keep it shining.