This morning was a teachable moment. At 3:23 am I was awakened by the sweet voice of my son. He was telling me that his big sister had thrown up in the bed. I sent her to wash up... stripped that puky bed and made a pallet in the living room for my two other children. At about 5 am she came to me in tears because she was supposed to attend a breakfast at her school with her dad. She had been anticipating this event for a week. She cried and cried and in my efforts to console her, I told her that being sick was unfortunate, but it happens. She cried and said but mom what if I miss Thanksgiving with the whole family because I am sick? I then told her, we will just eat at home, and mommy will spend lots of time with you to make it fun. She looked a bit apprehensive but she later told me I was the best mommy. I then told her that I was striving to be the best, but sometimes I come up short. (I probably should have just said thanks.) But she hugged her "wonderful" mother anyway. She is awesome like that.
I am extra sensitive to the disappointment in my children because I was often disappointed. I had very strict parents, and punishments and whippings were meted out often. I remember being put on punishment and not receiving anything for my birthday. Or being told I couldn't go to the movies because of some phantom infraction. I internalized a lot of anger and distrust. I was often sad because of always having things I looked forward to taken away. Over and over again. Yet I did not give up hope. I was ever the optimist as a child. Although many days I cried about it. I realized that my parents were parenting the best way that they knew how. So I always forgave them when they disappointed me.