Maeve and I had a hard time yesterday. Her behavior at the zoo swung between very nice and complete defiance. I thought she was maybe going to mutiny. I thought maybe I was going to have to pull the plug and drag her unceremoniously from the zoo. But neither happened, and we managed to get home without any total meltdowns.
But I was exhausted. Then she was enraged that I hadn't planned anything fabulous for us to do that afternoon, and she was tired and cranky. We fought several minor skirmishes, and I finally talked her into playing out front in the courtyard in the rain. She loves playing in the rain.
I dragged my folding chair out and I couldn't take it anymore. I just started crying. I was so very sad, sad that spending time with my daughter was so fraught with conflict, sad that Maeve was obviously so tired of me, sad that my days were just parades of fights. I felt so overwhelmed and lost.
I forgot what affect mothers crying has on daughters. Maeve immediately began to cry right along with me. Of course, she was emotionally exhausted from her day, too, I'm sure. I told her why I was sad and she gave me a huge, long, tight hug and whispered in my ear, I love you even when I'm so mad, Mom.
It is enough. It has to be enough.