They say if your second child was your first child there wouldn’t BE a second child.
Rachael was a happy, funny, healthy baby. She was a goofy, energetic toddler. She was smart, playful and she and Nathaniel got along great.
Then we had Peyton.
We rocked Rachael’s toddler world. The cute baby girl of the family was no longer the only girl of the family.
Toddler Rachel wasn’t wild about infant Peyton but then personalities started to shine and you could see they were very different.
Nathaniel, Rachael and Peyton have bonded through Peyton’s cancer, dealt with the move, survived the strokes.
However, we have reached the brink of emotional disaster with puberty.
When you were a child, did you ever make your mom angry and she’d say “I HOPE YOU A KID JUST LIKE YOU SOMEDAY!”?
Mine did. Often. Into my 20′s.
I so got that child.
You wouldn’t know it with my stroke-affected appearance but Rachael looks just like I did. Scarily like me. Like a reproduction from her eyebrows to her toenails. The familiar mannerisms and smile, line of her young legs and curve of her belly.
I would love to tell you I grew up giving my parents no trouble or attitude. I think we would all know that’s a lie. Would you want to raise me? I am. Let me tell you, it’s not always fun.
During Spring Break I had to ground Rachael. A day of planned fun for the kids that her siblings would still attend.
I was the big evil that night.
I had to explain that as much as I wanted to let her go I wanted her to understand that I was very serious more. I needed to be able to trust her and she needed to start showing responsibility for her actions.
Oh it sucked.
There were tears. Angry looks. Mental name calling.
I told her I’d made mistakes that I still regretted. I’d hurt people in ways I couldn’t take back. I’d let my choices be selfish and paid for then. Those were things I didn’t want her be almost 40 and thinking about.
There was this point of wanting to call my mom and have her tell Rachael that I was a child just like her. I was stubborn and defiant, string-willed and proud.
But I didn’t. I’m still all those things and I see the good in those traits. I never want to break Rachael of the very characteristics that can make her extraordinary.
I see us butting heads a lot because of our similarities. I can see that she wants to be like me. I want her to be better.
One more grounding. Pounding my head on the cement.
Getting through a little more.