Rachel really struggles sometimes, so in turn, I struggle too. As an almost 9 year old, she struggles with a lot of things, but tonight it was her position in the family line-up. I wasn’t the oldest. I have an older brother whom I annoyed and emulated to no end. So maybe he could relate to oldest child woes better than I can.
Tonight Rachel got upset over something Sam said to her. What happened wasn’t important, but typically when she gets upset the whole world falls apart. Suddenly she’s not meant to be in the family, or our church is no longer true, or she wishes she were the youngest instead of the oldest.
Most times we just have to tell her to breathe in and out until she can calm down. Sometimes she gets herself back together quickly, sometimes it takes longer.
Its times like these that I just want to hold her and make all the bad go away. I want her to be careless and free and not worried about things like that. She really is growing up and I worry, many times, about my ability to parent her.
Perhaps that’s why I feel like we need this lifestyle right now. I’m forced to get to know her. All of her. Not just the leftovers after she’s home from school and has been independently with her friends all day. I see all the good, all the bad, and everything in between. For that I truly am grateful even when she’s grumpy and won’t look at the camera and all I get is a photo of her pigtails.