I have never felt as powerful and as helpless as I do as a mother. There are times I have no idea what to do. I want to solve the problem or calm the crying or fix the issue. But there are no answers. There is no right or wrong. How can you solve the problem if you don’t even know what the problem is? When the person you are helping doesn’t have the words yet to express herself? Only tears and grunts and giggles.
So all I can do is be there for her – open my arms and allow her to feel the feelings.
Last night, she woke up right as I was falling asleep. I laid in bed with my eyes closed, sending sleep vibes to her room. It didn’t work. I went into her room, unsure what to do. After all, I am just a little girl myself, playing pretend in this grown-up world.
But this is not pretend. She is real. Her tears are real. So I picked her up and rocked her, singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” like I’ve done so many times before. Like I did the first time I held her almost eleven months ago and like I did when she was still in my belly.
Slowly, her body relaxed, her head fell to my shoulder, and she drifted back to sleep. Her tears stopped falling right as mine began. There we were, two people who just needed a shoulder to cry on. We didn’t need a reason. There were no answers or problems to solve. We just needed someone to be there for us.
I’m not sure who was holding whom.
And this is how I know that all of us just want to be held. Words are not necessary. Just a soft touch and a warm embrace. It took having my daughter to finally let go of control (did I really ever have it anyway?) and to understand the the best thing we can do is just open our arms and be there for each other.
And perhaps, this is the best thing we can do for ourselves: show kindness, let go, laugh, cry, love.
Perhaps it is that simple.