I remember once when M was about six and was terribly upset about something and cried openly, without reservation, giving in to her pain without worrying about who could hear her or what she looked like as only young children do and I thought to myself, "when do we stop crying out loud?"
That same little girl got her heart broke for the first time a few days ago and I'm watching her struggle through the painful messiness that comes with a break up...no matter what the age...and I see the ways she is hurting inside, trying to be brave and strong yet working hard to navigate all of the ickyness she is feeling for what is certain to be the first of many heartaches...and I realized I would take the outward tears over the stoic internalizing I'm watching currently.
See...it used to be I could fix it...my words, my hugs, my security were enough. I miss those days. Back then I knew she was okay...even when she cried. Now, I don't know what she's thinking, what she's feeling and I hate it. I know she thinks I have no idea what she's going through, that I can't possibly understand and I get that, but no matter how old we get, heart break is the same and, sadly, it never gets any easier. And, maybe even more so, I'm desperately dreading the wedge the next few years are going to drive between us. She is growing up, and while it's painfully beautiful to watch, I want to protect her from all the things I know are there to hurt her.
I want her to know life is short and love, even with inevitable heart ache, is worth it. I want her to be brave and strong yet cautious and empathetic. I want her to see people from the inside out and to not fear feeling everything...the good...and the bad...because without the bad we can never truly and completely feel and enjoy the good.