The other night, The Boss and I were driving home from my parents’ house. There were several streaks of lightning flashing all over the sky and it was pretty awesome.
“Look, baby! Did you see that lightning? Isn’t that awesome?” said I.
“It’s not ly-ning, Mommy. It’s a wishing star,” replied she.
“It does kind of look like wishing stars, but it’s actually lightning. Because, you know, it’s raining.”
HUGE sigh from the backseat. “Mommy. It’s a wishing star. It’s not ly-ning. Do you understand me? IT’S A WISHING STAR.”
“Well, okay. I’m not going to argue with you. If you say it’s a wishing star, then fine.”
And, you guys, I didn’t know what it was that I said or what the tone was, but something in that last statement just made her lose her ever-loving mind.
“MOMMY! You are not listening to me and it’s making me angry! Why don’t you listen to me when I am saying an important thing? You are hurting my feelings! Now I’m sad! You need to say ‘sorry’ right now! MOMMY! Do you hear me?”
Frankly, I didn’t feel safe making any further comment to her, so I just kept my mouth shut. Don’t engage, right? This was not a wise decision on my part. The diatribe continued the entire 10 minute drive to our house (reason # 76,379 why I’m glad I bought a home really close to my parents). She didn’t let up. I’m not sure she even paused long enough to take a breath (reason # 482 why I think she might actually be an alien lifeform).
Finally, we pulled up to our house and I turned off the car. I turned around to look at her; a tiny little human with her arms crossed and her lower lip jutted out.
“Baby, I’m sorry that your feelings got hurt. Can you tell me what I said that made you feel sad and angry?”
And I saw it on her face: she didn’t know. She had no idea why she was so upset over my saying it was lightning. But I knew, right at that moment. It was a Mommy Epiphany.
She BELIEVED the lightning was truly wishing stars. And she LOVES wishing stars; she loves anything to do with making wishes. When I said “it’s actually lightning,” her four-year-old brain heard “You are wrong. What you believe in is wrong. What you love is wrong.”
No wonder she got mad. I get mad when someone tells me that what I love and believe in are wrong.
We got out of the car and sat on the porch, watching the lightning/wishing stars and made our wishes. I said my wishes aloud and she asked if they would come true then, because you aren’t supposed to say your wishes out loud.
“Well sugar, I think that when the wish is really important, it’s okay to say it out loud to someone you really love. What do you think?” She nodded and whispered her wishes.
(At the time, it was really sweet and sentimental, but reading it now, I’m like “Dude, get out of the Disney movie.” Whatever. I think I scored big Mommy Points.)