I was asked a question last week by someone who is coming to support our family. She said to me that she’d been thinking about our family a lot and she’d been wondering, ‘Did Big ever get chance to just be a little girl?’
And the answer, as much as I don’t want it to be, is probably no.
When the girls are playing I’m always very close by as I know how quickly things can escalate. I’m always listening just in case something is said that might allude to how she’s feeling. And I’m always listening for signs that she’s not managing.
When other people are here and she’s playing with them, I’m always close by in case she shows signs that she’s not managing and they don’t pick up on it. I’m always hovering just in case.
When we’re having fun, I’m always aware that she really struggles with fun and that I need to limit it and finish it before it tips over into not managing and feeling unsafe.
When she’s upset, I’m always looking for the bigger picture, what might it be that has caused her to feel like this, what small sign did I miss earlier that has lead to this.
So, even though I recognise this. I’m not sure how to stop. If I don’t stay close, there is a real danger of Little being really hurt. Other people are not as good at picking up the small signs she gives out and if we miss them, she really struggles later. If I let the fun continue, it inevitably becomes not fun. If I don’t consider the bigger picture, she doesn’t trust that I’m able to support her through everything.
How do we get more of a balance of ‘just being’ but also help her and Little in all the different ways they need helping?
I’ve been thinking about it all week, in trying to help her in so many ways, am I failing her in another? I don’t know. But it’s something else I’ve been thinking about.
The best bits
We went to the beach on Friday after the last day of the school term. We dug holes, we carried buckets of water about the beach, we got wet and we had fun.
Little slept for 13 hours on Saturday night. In her own bed!
We’ve been swimming twice over the weekend. I know I mention swimming a lot but I’m in awe of how well they’re doing. Every time we go they seem that little bit more confident. They both swam through a hoop under the water on Sunday. Awesome girls that they are.