(Yes, this post probably is better suited for my other blog. But I feel it's an old subject by now over there. Plus, I thought my Sweetie & Me readers who haven't visited yet over at Our SubLyme Life may appreciate a bit of an update. So here you go...)
As I've talked about here before, and have definitely mentioned a lot over at my other blog lately, Sweetie has some... ahem... difficulty, shall we say, with speaking her true feelings. Everything, as we know, is "great" to her and we will never be the wiser if some less-than-stellar feelings are running around in that head of hers.
Everything's fine, mom! I don't want to talk about it! I don't want a big deal made out of it!
Fine. Be that way. I do suppose it's a whole lot better than the opposite situation of having to deal with a constant complainer. I guess I'm glad we don't have to hear oh so many whines that simply are not worthy of even a tiny peep of complaint.
But.... There is a fine line now, isn't there?
A) We don't think Sweetie tells us near enough about how she's feeling regarding the management of her Lyme. Yeah, sure. Maybe she is really great! That would be great! But at times when she's not acting or looking so peppy, yet she still doesn't say anything, we are left to wonder how she really is.
B) She actually did complain the other night (on the way home from a talk we went to about Lyme Disease, actually) that her mouth hurt. Not her throat. Her mouth. When we asked her why she thought this was, she frustratedly answered, "I don't know! I have Lyme Disease!" To which we quickly scolded her that whatever this was had nothing to do with that at all, we're sure... as if she uses this excuse all the time for whatever problems she's having... and she simply does not. (As it turned out, we reasoned later that her pains stemmed from the site of her recent oral surgery. Whenever she eats some foods - especially rough or citrusy foods - they aggravate the site. End of story.)
So, yeah. It's tough. We want her to keep us posted on what she's going through, but would be angry to have her use Lyme as the reason for every little affliction that happens her way.
As a commenter over at Our SubLyme Life recently suggested, I decided I'd get Sweetie a little journal of sorts. A place where she could write down how she's feeling if she'd rather not talk about it. But, when I suggested this to her, Sweetie was none too impressed at all. (Funny. You'd think that almost all 9 year old girls out there would be psyched to get a "diary" to start writing down there increasingly personal and private thoughts on different subjects. Nope. Not my Sweetie, anyway.)
I changed it up a little (and made it actually more like the commenter was saying) and suggested that she and I could share a journal. We'd have a Mother/Daughter Notebook where we could write notes to each other. Just silly little notes if we want, or about things we'd feel more comfortable writing about rather than talking about. Whatever!
To this, Sweetie instantly jumped right on board!
Great! So now, we have exactly this. A Mother/Daughter NOTESbook - a small notebook with 2 pockets on the front - one for notes to me, and one for notes to her. We tear out the paper from within to use as our notepaper and surprise each other every once in awhile when we see that a note is waiting for us.
It's still early but, so far, so good!
I wrote to her first, a little more than a week ago. Then she wrote to me at the end of last week. I'm still waiting for a response to my second note to her. But I've gotta say - I was really quite impressed with the one letter she's written so far! You'd have thought that it would have been a really simple "I love you, Mommy" sort of thing. But no. It was a well written page long note where she mentioned how much she really likes the idea of having a Mother/Daughter sharing notebook. Yay! I really like it too!
I've reminded her, both verbally and through my notes, that we can use this notebook to share quick notes or to talk about things that may be too hard to talk about out loud. I've written to her that Daddy and I can help her to feel the best she can if we know what she's feeling, so are frustrated sometimes when she doesn't speak to us about these things. I also acknowledged that it must be frustrating to her to have to live with Lyme Disease - taking the medicines she does, changing her diet so drastically, and visiting the doctor as often as she has to. I hope our notebook will help her to feel more comfortable about sharing things with me she'd rather not admit out loud.
Also, as she gets older and creeps ever so much closer to her teenaged years, I'm hoping we can continue on with our notebook, maintaining a strong mother/daughter bond throughout some potentially rocky years. Besides from my immediate hope of having her find some comfort in the written word when it comes to how she's feeling regarding her Lyme, I see great potential for this little notebook to keep us connected throughout the potentially tricky terrain of being a teenager.
For now, I look forward to reading whatever it is she wishes to share with me. Silly love notes, beautiful drawings, funny jokes, or deeply felt feelings. Whatever it may be, I'm happy. Just one more way of letting her know that I'm here for her, no matter what, no matter how.