It’s mid morning. We exchange words, smiles and laughs. Sips of lukewarm coffee fill the empty spaces. Having friends over is so refreshing, especially ones who understand. We continue our conversation before it is soon to be interrupted. I sarcastically add another line to the conversation, but as I laugh I am interrupted sooner than I thought. I am getting asked a million questions but there’s no voice to match it. It’s the voice of a four and half year old heart that doesn’t know how to ask all the questions – but mom knows.
I try to look in the direction of these questions. Across the room I’m met with this big, hazel gaze. The gaze is what’s asking the questions. A million silent questions begging to be verbalized and answered in return. Some of which include:
“Why can’t we talk like that?”
“How are you connecting like that?”
“What is it you are laughing about?”
“Why are you sitting that way?”
“Why are you making those faces?”
“What do those words mean?”
“How can I join your conversation?”
“How do I have a conversation?”
“Are you talking about me?”
“What am I doing wrong?”
So much uncertainty, and so much anxiety just wanting to be calmed. She wants so badly to just be at peace and ease into a conversation that doesn’t involve a script, label or fact followed by a forced laugh. She doesn’t want all these questions lurking across the room, yet she still is trying so hard to learn. She is so scared to mess anything up, she doesn’t dare try asking at all.
It was that hazel gaze with the questions that made me think twice. Although she doesn’t show me she listens, she is listening – just on her own terms. I have seen that gaze before but it never really clicked before. I now need to be careful what I say. She is already so self conscious about doing anything the wrong way, God forbid she catches her own mother criticizing her. It’s hard because I’m with the girls all day long, but I really do need to be careful. With a memory like hers, she will take everything I say to the grave so I’d rather her not carry any harsh feelings. I am her mother, my job is to build her up and I will continue to try my best to do that. I hope I can do the same with her sisters, too.