Tonight after the rain, the stars were out, the crickets chirping and the frogs croaking, I walked up our driveway crying out loudly because the words my daughter said to me before she went to bed were straight from my heart and I hated hearing them from her.
At dinner tonight I asked our eight year old if she had been asking another little girl in class for answers.
Well what followed was a bunch of excuses, tears and dramatics about not being able to concentrate, not knowing enough big words to answer the question, not being allowed to go on the computer all the time ... she was obviously getting desperate to avoid being blamed for something.
I tried to explain she wasn't in trouble I just really wanted her to answer her own questions and use her own mind. I didn't care if her answer was wrong or right just so long as it was hers. I went on to say she was amazingly clever and creative and thoughtful and could answer any question any way she wanted to. Please I begged just use your own mind. I believed every word I was saying, I was speaking absolute truth.
A lot more tears and hugging and she said 'I am not clever Mummy, I can't answer the questions, I won't get it right' and at that she sobbed rolled over and went to sleep.
I tried to shrug it off, that she was just tired and emotional but five minutes on and I was crying. All the time I tell myself, I am not clever at anything, I can't do it, I can't do life as well as those around me, I am a failure and I am worthless. My own insecurities that I try so hard to hide and mask I have inadvertently, through actions and deeds, passed them on to our precious daughter.
I walked up the drive crying, looking up to the stars, calling out to God about all my failings as a mother, wife, individual and I cried really really hard and hoped for answers. After a lot of wrestling I turned and walked home and I knew, the only way she will ever feel worthy is if I feel it and demonstrate it first. No matter what I say to her she is somehow seeing straight past the words to my thoughts and heart and she is cutting straight to the crux of it.
I don't know how to feel worthy, I try genuinely hard, I have every single day of my life, I have tried but I just don't feel it. I do know I am God breathed, I know that Jesus loves me, I believe I was created in God's image and I am somehow part of His perfect plan. I know these facts in my head, but I still do not feel worthy, it is not a truth I can easily accept but tonight demonstrated how absolutely crucial it is otherwise I am going to accidentally burden our children with similar unhelpful and untrue worries about their worth.
And so this parenting journey continues ... it is so raw and honest and soul wrenching and challenging on every level and I just need to be real with myself before I can pass on any real wisdom to our babies and it scares me because I don't know what real is, what if I can't handle the truth.