She stole my phone this morning. I almost shit a brick as I heard her sneaking in, my mama spidey sense that wakes you up from deep sleep when they come close or are hurt or that just knows, always knows. In your body, in your soul, in your heart.
She snuck in and I could hear her trying to be so quiet so she wouldn’t wake daddy and mama up. I heard her as she took my phone off the charger and unplugged it. Confused at first what was going on in the fuzziness of sleep as she unlocked it with my passcode and panicked as I thought about all the boundaries crossed and what a failed terrible mother I must be.
I took a deep breath, preparing myself for whatever this would be. For the mistake, for the impulsivity of a newly six year old, for the temptation of cartoons and screen time.
We have really strict rules around screen time in our home. It’s a rule she hates because it’s so unfair mama and she is right, it is unfair.
And sometimes she sneaks in extra time, and the regret later as her body betrays her with the merciless nausea and the migraines and I don’t feel good. But she’s six. Newly six. She’s six and it’s hard and can I blame her? I love screen time too.
So as she sneaks off with my phone and my heart breaks because no no no no no no. Oh Ella Grace.
I know I’m the specialist. I know we stand by Respectful Parenting and all the beautiful ways it has mothered her and our family into the kind, loving, smart, assertive, caring, goofy little girl she is but oh how my heart breaks.
You’re not a thief Ella Grace.
So I brace myself for the tears and meltdown that will come and when I gather enough courage and mama heart to go into the living room and then this.
I see her doing this.
Oh mama, how could you forget.
Get curious before critical.
There was a reason, there’s always a reason whether right or wrong or just the other side of the coin. Her version of truth that is still truth and valid.
“It’s the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever seen mama. I didn’t want you to miss it.”
She saw the most beautiful sunrise she’d seen in her life and she snuck in and risked certain death, punishment, consequences, wrath, anger, frustration so she could share it with me.
She didn’t want to wake us to ask because she knew it was early. Early enough that she caught the magnificent sunrise that painted the sky.
And of all the people she wanted to share her piece of magic with, she chose us.
She broke some rules. She knew she shouldn’t touch our devices without permission.
Here’s the problem with motherhood. It’s that there are always gray areas. Areas that push and pull. Areas that ask for heart and mama. Gray areas.
So we talk about why we have these rules and how boundaries keep us safe. We talk about how grateful we are to be included and to have front row seats to the little big girl she’s becoming.
But most of all, my mama heart breathes a sigh of relief. We’re doing good. She’s a good kid. We’re okay. We’re okay. We’re okay.