Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A New Kind of Pain

When they were 2 weeks old and the doctor gave them their first shots, my heart broke to hear them scream, but I knew it was ultimately "good" for them.  I gave them Tylenol, held them close, and soothed them until the tears stopped.

When they first started toddling and fell down and skinned a knee or bumped their head, my heart hurt a little at their pain, but I knew they were learning and growing in a necessary way.  I kissed the boo-boo and cheered their new accomplishment until they clapped instead of cried.

When Son ran down the slide at 3 years old and broke his femur and spent a month in a hospital in Barcelona, I thought my heart would never recover.  Every pain he felt, I felt.  Every x-ray, every bad hospital meal, every shot, tore at my heart.  I wanted to be the one with the broken leg.  I held him, brought him games and books, and with the huge loving support of family, we made sure he had adult family attention 24/7. 

When they came home from school crying because So-And-So said they were ugly/stupid/dumb/boring and wouldn't play with them, my heart broke at their pain.  I held them and talked to them about how sometimes people say things that aren't nice.  I helped them learn to cope with the rejection and to learn from it so that they could be nice to others and not hurt others like they were hurting.

Through the stitches, the illnesses, the wisdom teeth, the rejections, the braces, the shots, the bumps and bruises, my heart broke a little each time they were hurt.  Usually I could gather them up in my arms, sooth away the pain, and chalk it up to a learning experience.

Little did I know that the first broken heart would break my heart almost in two.

When Daughter called Sunday night in tears over her recent breakup, I felt paralyzed.  She was 550 miles away, it was Sunday night, I had to work the next day, I'd be down there in a week (as previously planned) to bring her home for the summer.

None of that mattered.

What mattered was my Daughter was sobbing, broken-hearted, and alone.  550 long miles away.  And I couldn't get there.

And my heart broke.

I tried to think of the right things to say - to acknowledge the pain, to acknowledge the Boy's mistake, to lift her up reminding her what a FABULOUS person she is, and to tell her that yes, it sucks today, but tomorrow will be a little better.  And the next day a little better than that one.

And when she said, "But what do I DO mom?  How do I handle this?  I wish you could be here right now."  My heart stopped for a second.  I wanted to hop a plane, gather her in my arms, and sooth her aching heart.  Then I remembered, this is part of her growng up.  Just like the skinned knees and the braces.  I congratulated her on her maturity at seeing the breakup for what it was.  I reminded her she's loved beyond all belief.  I told her I'd be there in a week and it would all be good.  I suggested she surround herself with friends, keep busy, eat healthy, and try not to think about him every 37 seconds.

Then I hung up the phone and cried like a baby.  For my baby.

Monday, I sent her flowers reminding her that I love her Bunches and Bunches.

Who knew her heart break would break mine, too?


Dysfunctional Mom said...

That's the worst. I know it wouldn't serve them well in life, but I wish I could take all my kids' pain and feel it myself.

Gigi said...

Oh that's rough! For her and you.

ChiTown Girl said...

I'm sitting here teary-eyed right now. I can feel your pain, and definitely her pain. Nothing is worse than when your babies are hurting, except you not being able to be with them. :(

Carol@TheDesignPages said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and i"m loving it. My kids are not dating yet but very close and I am dreading this sort of thing. Be strong!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

This is so tough.

I choose to focus on how lucky you are, as am I, to have the kind of relationship where YOU are the one your daughter confides in. Not everyone has that.

My son had to have his dog put to sleep about 6 weeks ago and I felt exactly as you did--just wishing there was some way to save him from that pain.

Pumpkin Delight said...

Ahhh, poor thing. It is hard to be far away from your mommy. I'm 37 and still need her from time to time (even though she lives 3000 miles away).
You are right. It's that time in life when all those hard things have to be figured out. I hope you both hang in there.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I have a feeling she FELT the love and was hugged BY you anyway.
Heartbreaking...and I am also so happy she called YOU.

dkuroiwa said...

oh man....this is hard. but, really, how wonderful that she called you. i'm not sure that i would have called my mom when i was your daughter's age. i hope that my boys feel the same way about me.
tell her to hang in there....there are so many of us out here that have been in her shoes (sometimes felt as if i owned those damn shoes!).