Twice today, my child came to me crying. Jazmine’s tears are not new to me but why she was shedding them bothered me greatly.
I, just like any other parent, can tell by the tenor of her cry, that it was a serious emotional pain and not a physical one but she cried like she had just scraped her knee. I remained calm, which is a feat when your child is sobbing, and asked what happened. Bella had hurt her feelings. The first time, Jazmine complimented Bella’s hair and Bella did not respond with a thank-you but a side remark about how there was nothing special about her hair style that day. Jazmine is taught to say thank-you to compliments and not reply with humble-brags or sarcasm so she thought not receiving a thank-you in reply was mean-spirited.
The second round of sobs was much more severe. She took a bit to fully explain to me what happened and even then, more of the actual accounts that led up to the tears were not fully disclosed until bath time. Jazmine said Bella did not want to play Uno with her. Jaz asked why not and said, “Don’t you have fun with me?”. Bella’s response was that she had fun with her yesterday. That broke Jazmine’s six-year-old heart.
She understood that to mean, quite accurately I believe, that Bella did not think she was fun today. There were many sobs and tears amidst the repeated reprise, “Why is Bella so mean to me? Why? Just why?”
If you don’t know that the Lord Jesus Christ is real and risen from the dead to save us from our sins, then know this. The fact that Bella is unharmed and there is no report of a domestic disturbance at our home is evidence enough that He is at work in my heart and in my life. There were brief moments where my Wolverine Adamantium began to come out (when Jazmine was crying and Bella could clearly hear her but never once came to check on her) but the tips of those silver spears quickly retracted and calm again took over as I comforted my girl.
I told her I was sorry that that happened and proceeded to guide her, as we, my husband and I, have done before, on how to deal with difficult people. Thus far, some gym kids and a big cousin have been the only ones to upset her like this with their behavior. We told her that if folk are unkind and or mean, to walk away from them and play with something or someone else (that was the case with the gym kids). We also tell her she needs to tell people how their actions made her feel (that was the case with her cousin). It was much harder for her to accept that she is to do the same thing even when it’s her sister that caused these feelings. She was baffled that her sister, her very own sister (her words) could be so mean. She went on to say, “Why did God give me her as a sister if she is so mean? She can’t really be my sister if she is mean to me.”
Part of me, the part that can’t stand the person Bella has become nor her mother, wanted to give Jazmine worldly advice on how to deal with folk that hurt her feelings. Simultaneously, another part of me sympathized with Tanya. I understood where she might have been 12 years ago when my husband and I first married. Scared that I, Zara, was going to mistreat her precious baby girl. Scared that my husband, Bella’s father, was going to side with me at all cost to the detriment of her baby girl. Both of those trains of thought were unfounded and would never happen but she didn’t know that. All she knew was that I was step-mom and she could not keep her daughter from me because I was married to her daughter’s father.
You would think that all these thoughts took some time to process through my mind but it was moving faster than a jet in my brain.
I also reflected how Tanya’s decisions then took shape to form Bella now. I do not want Jazmine to be anything like her sister. I choose to follow God as a rule in life anyway so following Him now was nothing new but having the hindsight of what the cost of rearing a child on worldly wisdom looks like at almost 17, made me run to do the will of God.
It is hard to see and hear your baby cry. It takes discipline to not try to make it alright when it is something to grow through. It is hard to not allow her to act out past her initial emotion/reaction. Parenting ain’t easy. Godly parenting takes Holy Ghost power.
At bath time, when the rest of the events that lead up to her tears came out, my husband talked to her. Having been kept abreast on all the events of the day as they happened, I called him up and tagged him in because I didn’t know how else to restate what I had been saying all day. Daddy’s have calming effects on their daughters.
Today was a difficult day and, although Jazmine is in the bed resting peacefully this evening, I know that this is only the beginning to her questions about today’s events. Please pray for our stamina. I don’t want to start off well then grow weary while doing good.