Turns out Elaine is as sensitive as her brother. And as nervous as her brother. I thought we had a chance of her being different - being bold and carefree. But nope. She's the same. Shocker. NOT.
This sensitivity makes her a prime target for heartache. For hurt feelings. For bullies. For drama. Oh the drama.
On Sunday she was going to spend the night with her brother at my mom's house. She started crying as the time to leave got closer. "I just don't feel correct," she said. I asked what in the world she was talking about. She was sad she wouldn't be home to snuggle me before bed and to hug and kiss me. Oy vey. I love her. But seriously? She adores all of our relatives. She has spent the night many many places, and not always with her brother or with her grandma. For Pete's sake! But I pat patted her, and snuggled her and told her it would be fine.
And of course, it was. She didn't shed a tear or freak out or anything at my mom's house.
She cried last night before bed because I have a head cold and am losing my voice. "I don't want you to be sick." Well, me neither, but people get colds dude. No worries E, no worries.
Someone tells her she's a meanie? Girl you'd better believe she's upset. You may as well have stabbed her directly in the chest. She takes it all personally and to heart.
We had a lot of 'man up' type discussions with W back in the day. Now the same with E. And yet?
These big hearts and sensitive souls my kids have also make them fabulous, wonderful kids. Kids who have empathy for others. Kids who love unconditionally and befriend anyone and everyone. Kids who give second chances and don't hold grudges. (Even when their mother thinks they should!)
And so we soldier on. Working through each event - dramatic or otherwise. We tell Elaine that no, bullying is not okay, but if its words, we need to let it roll off our backs. I make her face herself in a mirror each morning and rebuild herself. "Say three things out loud about yourself that you like," I tell her. I tell her she is strong and amazing and wonderful and fabulous. She doesn't always believe it, but I can tell she wants to.
We'll get there.
In the meantime? We'll just mend each heartbreak as they come. (Good gravy this is really going to be bad when boys enter the picture, isn't it? Don't even bother answering that. I'll just go bury my head in the sand!)
E holding her newest cousin Julia. Also? She clearly loves Branson. I'm just sayin'.