Earlier today, I found myself dealing with a hysterical Jessie; crying, hiding under a blanket, running her clean sleeve across her snotty nose, red-faced hysterical. The specifics of her conniption are not necessary for the story. In fact, I shudder to even consider revisiting them as I already lived through it once today and that was quite enough, thank you very much. But that was a few hours ago and now, as she rummages through the apps and videos on her iPod which no longer interest her, the tears are so far off her radar that one might think it never happened.
Well, I am here to tell you, as her mother, that while she is fully recuperated and has evidently moved on…not so me. No, I am still reeling and reliving the trauma of watching my kid disintegrate into a heap as she managed to coat her sleeve with the endless stream of clear gunk spewing from her nose and eyes. I am still rifling through and trying to mentally transcribe the interaction and meaning of the few words she managed to blurt out amid the sobs in the hopes (for lack of a better word) that I will have something to ruminate over while undoubtedly laying awake at three in the morning. I wrestle with my desire to ask her, now that she is calm, to repeat some of what she said but know, intellectually, that nothing good will come of it (and that I would have to be insane to go there twice in one day). I want to hide under a blanket and pretend it never happened in the first place while she seems to have forgotten all about it.
It is not the first (and, if I had to guess, the last) time I have seen (or will see) this movie. The passion of her entire being was at once startling and a little bit (almost) thrilling. It was as though I could see the attempt at words forming in her brain and watch them pour out of her mouth, albeit garbled and, at times, incoherent. Her intensity was so powerful as to manage to shake her (and me) up a little bit. And then it was over. She purged and moved on…something her mother hasn’t quite mastered. (Why move on when I can obsess?)
Jessie amazes me each day. Whether she is flexing her artistic muscles or melting down, standing tall or crumbling in a heap, designing a dress or destroying a drawing that doesn’t meet her exacting standards, she does it with gusto and her entire being. As I write, she has hurled herself so intensely into cleaning up and re-populating her iPod with more tween materials now that she is no longer ten, that, if the house were on fire, I would be hard-pressed to get her attention. Her energy output is on par with that she unleashed during the tearful explosion of just a few hours ago, this time in an all together more pleasant form.
I marvel at her spirit. I envy her intensity. I admit to not entirely understanding her process. I hope she knows that I’ve got her back. I think she does. And I hope she got the losin’ her shit crying out of her system for a little bit. Remember, she has a quicker recovery than I do…now you can find me hiding under a blanket.