By Sofie Eriksson
From the day she was born, my daughter and I were an inseparable pair. After infertility and losses, she was all I could ever have asked for – every day was a blessing and, in many ways, I needed her more then she needed me. I rarely left her and my life fully revolved around what she needed, what she wanted and what we wanted for her. Our days were filled with forest walks, cycles along the sea and cloud spotting. Cloud spotting took over from cow observing which was a two-year obsession that almost broke me.
There are only so many hours you can spend watching cows as they curiously watch you.
Nursery soon followed and as she strutted off in her slightly big welly boots, never looking back, I knew this child was fiercely independent.
I’ve always loved her witty ways and strong will.
Her cheeky smile and the way she rocked that dry sarcasm well before she should.
In fact, I somewhat encouraged it. I didn’t want her to grow up to be compliant. I wanted to give her all she needed to become a game changer, someone who loudly expressed her opinion and who fought hard to achieve all she wanted… and then she became a pre-teen.
I’m not sure how it happened but suddenly the cheekiness became somewhat rude. Her unwillingness to clean became somewhat annoying and her larger-than-life rightfulness felt frightening at times. I love my daughter and all she is, but I haven’t found a way yet to communicate with this young girl she’s growing into.
I had to sit down and really dig deep in my own childhood memories to reach the feeling I had when I was her age, and I do remember. I remember the hormones raging and the sudden onset of sadness or rage I would feel out of nowhere. I know how I struggled, how I didn’t want to be mad – I just was…
I recognise this rage in my daughter’s eyes when her brother pushes every button he can find. When he feels she doesn’t want to play with him and therefore seeks her attention by really, really annoying her. I know that feeling. I see it and I feel it with her.
Over the last few weeks I have felt how we have drifted apart. How our communication has suffered and how our relationship has suffered as a result. I felt as though she stopped speaking to me and just found me the most annoying creature that ever walked on this earth. Anything I said and say was and still is huffed and puffed at – if I had a house of hay it would have been blown away.
I’ve said to myself for weeks now that this isn’t ok – this is my daughter, my world.
I’ve felt sad and as though I miss her even though she’s here, just as she was a year ago.
I started to feel angry, she was feeling angry and we continued this vicious circle of disconnection and loss of trust.
Then there was hope!