Empathy

For as challenging as Maya can be these days, she also has a real empathetic side — and is really in-tune to how people around her are feeling.

“Mommy are you sad?” “Are you fwus-ta-wated with Benny?” “Mommy, are you not happy with me?”

I try to keep it real; tell her when I’m upset and why. Usually she knows; I pretty much wear my heart on my sleeve.

And every so often, she shows a glimmer of her “younger” self … her empathetic self.

This past weekend, my mom came for a last-minute visit and it was just wonderful having her here. We surprised Maya with the visit and the surprise was just priceless; beyond words. I still tear up thinking about it. And while the visit went by much too fast, we have my brother’s wedding in California to look forward to in a couple weeks. Maya loved being the center of attention and though she acted out (#threenager) quite a bit, she also had some wonderful, wonderful moments with my mom … moments we’ll cherish forever. She was devastated to see my mom go Sunday night and kept asking us, “Is that Gamama’s airplane in the sky?” every time she saw a plane. She said she wanted her to come back and visit again; to stay forever.

Monday morning, we were getting ready for school and work and I came out of our room to take a video of Ben and found Maya standing in the hall, peering into the guest room. I said, honey are you OK? She spun around, walked to her room, and threw herself on her bed. “I want my warm blankie,” she mumbled into her blanket. That was it. That was how she dealt — but even though she didn’t say a word about how much she missed my mom that morning, I knew. It was written all over her face and in her actions.

I got Ben ready for school and then took a seat on her bed. This is the conversation that ensued.

Her abnormally shaky little voice and big gray eyes slay me. THIS is the Maya I know.

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2 thoughts on “Empathy

  1. Aww, this is so sweet! 🙂 It made me get all misty eyed!

    When his dad and I split up, my son was right about Maya’s age (I think – he was a few months past turning 3). He coped with it so remarkably well on the surface, but sometimes his sadness and worry came out in unexpected ways like Maya asking for her warm blanket. I still feel sad when I think about it. Just like adults, I think, kids are able to suppress bad feelings, but moments like this show that they still feel them. Big hugs to you for having your family live so far away. I’m very fortunate that my parents live nearby and we can see them pretty often.

    1. ((Hugs, A!) I totally think you are right — and they are little people with big feelings they just sometimes can’t express.

      Yea, it sucks–the only saving grace is they have been able to visit/we have been able to visit them quite a bit. But this was the longest stretch ever … and fortunately the wedding is mid-June so we’ll have that Cali trip to look forward to!!

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