Last night as I was getting Angelica ready for her shower, she flipped out on me. Since she's three, I'm used to her very, very regular freak-outs but this was something entirely different. The conversation went a little like this.
A - Mommy, I want to sleep in YOUR room.
Me - I know you do, but you need to sleep in your own bed. (She had been in our bed the night before and I got almost no sleep as a result.)
A - But I don't LIKE my room. It's scary!
Me - What' so scary about your room?
A - It just IS! I want to sleep in your bed!
Me - Well, honey, I'll stay with you for awhile.
A - But when you leave I'll be all alone! And I don't like my room! It's scary! I want a DORA room!
(For those not in the know, before we moved, she had a Dora-themed room. It's now Ladybugs, which is what she asked for when we moved.)
After she said that, it hit me all of a sudden what she was really saying. With three year olds, you have to read between the lines sometimes, and this was one of those times.
Me - Honey, do you just miss your old bedroom?
A - Yes! (Starts wailing)
Me - And your old house? And your old friends?
A - Yes! Yes yes yes!
Me - And your old school? And your old church?
A - Yes! (She really lost it at the mention of our old church. She loved it there so much.)
By this point, I'm already sitting with her on the floor, holding her in my lap while she sobs, big fat tears rolling down her cheeks. She buried her face in my shoulder and just wrapped her arms around my neck and cried and cried the saddest sounding cries while I patted her back and tried to soothe her.
I assured her mommy and daddy were there for her. And that we'd visit her friends, and our family back in Florida. And they would come visit us.
It was tough to hear that. In all honesty, while I love it here, I've been having a hard time adjusting to the not knowing anyone and it's been lonely. I also miss my friends, my coworkers, my family, my church...but she seemed so happy. She was always saying she didn't miss her old home or old friends, and she liked her new school (the last of which is probably true). She's been SO giggly and happy. Little did I know she is JUST LIKE ME when it comes to her emotions. She buried her sadness and put on a happy face and just tried to fake it and eventually it became too much for her to bear.
Me - Angelica, sweetie, are you just lonely?
A - (calmer now, but still crying a little) Yes, I'm lonely.
So I told her we'd go out and meet people. And that I would always, always be there for her if she needed to talk. And that I know that sometimes, it's hard to talk about the tough feelings but that I would always be happy to listen.
Later on, after I got her ready for bed:
Me - Do you feel better now that we talked?
A - Yes, I feel much better.
Me - Are you glad you told me how you were feeling?
A - Yes, it made me feel happier.
I'm so happy she felt better at the end of the night. I'm so glad we talked about it too. But there is truly no worse feeling than when your child is hurting and there's nothing you can really do to make it all better.