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Monday, February 2, 2015

Rejection

The other week one of the few shows I care to watch on television came to an end. I liked Parenthood because I felt like I was watching real people, like neighbors or someone I would know , go through real problems, and fight through them, sometimes making difficult or unpopular decisions. No murders or gore or violence or whatever. 

So this week I decided to revisit the shows beginning for lack of interest in anything else to watch. 

Already in the second episode, I found myself really resonating with one issue one character was struggling with. Julia, the lawyer sister, who generally is not my favorite, was struggling with their daughter. Nothing crazy like drugs or acting out, but in a way that I am struggling with my almost 3 year old right now. 

Every time Julia goes to do anything with or for their daughter Sydney, Sydney rejects her and asks for their dad to do it. Tucking into bed, playing with, cutting up food, whatever. 

And so it is in my house. Perhaps it's a phase, and like Julia, I am trying desperately to put up a brave and accepting face. But being continually rejected by the apple of your eye flipping hurts. 

Now I am aware that it is a good thing that my son loves his dad so much. I want them to be close. I know he misses his dad during the day. And we have had big change recently with the new baby. And we also have fun and play together and do projects at home during the day. We hug and help baby and I make sure baby naps and we get one on one time. 

But once his dad gets home, I cease to exist. 

It's been a season of growth for me in this. I usually do not take a rejection or perceived rejection well. Partly my family history includes a bombardment of that feeling. So when rejection happens, it stings old wounds. And I react my either getting on my high horse or running away/avoiding or rejecting in return.  Or something else equally unhealthy or ungracious. 

However these go-to or usual internal responses (which turn into external responses) would have some dire consequences. I cannot run away from or avoid my son. Not do I want to. I love him too much. There is no high horsing or yelling or sarcasm, because he doesn't understand. I don't want to make him feel bad/guilty. I want him to learn to express emotions learn healthier ways to respond to conflict than I did. There can be no rejection/guilt etc in return from me, or else let the cycle continue. 

No. 

 My son is teaching me to accept rejection. Graciously. To love even if it stings a little. To get over myself a little. And to maybe help heal those old wounds. 

I thought I was supposed to be teaching him. 

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