Now that my girls are in their teens, I have salvation in knowing I didn’t damage their little psyches years ago. I say this because they do what most normal teenage girls do to their mothers. They challenge and test and question and snipe just as much as they tease you with their tender moments as well. They know everything and are wise beyond their years; again, because they are.
BUT, way back when my oldest was nine and her sister, five, they looked to me for the gospel and truth. There was one particular night where they had pushed me beyond my point of no return. After countless ‘time for bed’ battles, I made a pact with myself that tonight there would be no trips to the kitchen for water… I have to go to the bathroom… I’m scared… and so on. I’d had enough and gave the proverbial warning that only mothers are masters at rendering.
That seemed to do the trick. What I’d soon find out was that both girls were now in my younger one’s room. The troops were aligning. I have two older sisters so I know all about aligning. Growing up, my sisters and I had an amazing ability to love each other with fierce intensity in one moment and loathe each other in the next. Such was (and is) the case with my girls. Apparently, something happened which released the mean girl in my daughters and it wasn’t long before I heard screaming and yelling coming from the direction of their rooms.
I ran down the hall and threw the bedroom door open. Both girls were tangled together on the floor and looked like they were trying out for professional wrestling. They were doing a stellar job of pummeling each other. I barked a command that any respectable mom would have done which caused both of them to freeze. I demanded to know what the hell was going on and the two of them immediately jumped up onto the bed and huddled close to each other. They tried the wide-eyed look of wonder and anticipation on me and I wasn’t buying it. Satisfied I had their attention, in a slow and controlled voice I told them: “What you two need to understand is I brought you into this world and I can just as easily take you out!”
The room got very quiet. My older daughter had an expression of horror on her face and the younger one looked like she was going to burst into tears. We were at a stand off when the younger one finally opted to speak. She looked straight into my eyes and in a timid whisper asked, “Does this mean you’re gonna kill us”?
I was so blown away by her question, a thousand thoughts rushed through my head. Without missing a beat, I shook my head and said: “Not tonight. Now get to bed—both of you. I love you.”