"You hate confrontation, right? You avoid it at all costs."
I do. I hate it. I avoid it at all costs. I nodded my head at the Rabbi. Yes, that's me.
"So you get frustrated when you butt heads with your daughter. You are too affected by it. You need to remain calm. You're the kind of person that is very affected by music," he said.
"Yeah, I guess--"
"So you should always have it playing in your house. It's calming for you and for her."
I nodded. Actually, Outdoorsman had said that we should always have classical music playing. It was a good idea. The Rabbi continued. "And sleep and eat properly. And make sure that you are completely calm when you pick her up from school. You have to always be in control, even though you want to give in to her to avoid confrontation."
I nodded. Beside me, Outdoorsman was silent. He hates this kind of hocus pocus thing. I could almost hear him thinking, "Rabbi, just give us advice on how to help Princess be happy. Leave out all the "you are the kind of person" nonsense. You don't know us. Just help our daughter."
I kept my eyes bright and animated, and nodded to the Rabbi again. "What exactly do I say in the moment when she is all out of control?"
He answered, and I nodded. Say more things, I was thinking. Say more things about me. Figure me out. Tell me the thing that will make me say, "OOOh. NOW I know what it is that I have to do to be the perfect wife and mother.
When I was little, I used to dream that I was a princess. Now, I know all little girls do, but maybe not for the same reason. I felt different from everyone, and I thought--maybe if I actually turn out to really be different--a princess!--it would explain everything. It would explain me.
I guess I still have a little bit of that waiting-for-the-princess-phone-call in me. I guess I spent my whole life waiting for the magic word--Open Sesame!--that would make it all come clear.
On the way home from the Rabbi's office,we laughed a little, because everything that the Rabbi had said--and it had all been good stuff, and we needed to know that we were doing everything we can for Princess--but everything was Love and Logic (which is a wonderful parenting model) and it was everything that I knew. Even the hocus-y pocus-y stuff. I know I don't like confrontation. I know my soul needs music. I know I need to eat well and sleep to function. He spoke magic words, and guess what? They were already in my vocabulary. I had already had that phone call.
I'm still waiting, and I guess I'll be waiting a long time, because there is no magic word. It's hard work. I have to stay calm and centered and be focused and on. I have to live in the here and now and continue the journey of loving where I am living. I have to eat well and sleep well, and turn on the music and dance with my daughter. And it's a dance that is two steps forward, one step back.
Hard work vs. ballgowns. Tough one.
I think I'd still rather be a princess, but maybe a close second is learning every day a little more how to mother a Princess.