When we were picking out a title for the blog, aside from Paper Kids, Emma also suggested “In Repair”, a title to a song by John Mayer. I always knew Emma LOVED John Mayer. Certain things we just knew she loved, like chocolate, the wind, and most of all music. Even before she started communicating, she would get really excited and twirl around when we’d put on Continuum, one of John Mayer’s albums.
One of the amazing things about this whole breakthrough is that we can finally share that thing which we both love so much in the world – music. The first time I asked her what she wanted to listen to, she pointed out “John Mayer”.
Me: “Do you have a favorite song by him?”
Emma: In Repair
Me: “I thought you loved that song. What do you like most about it? – The music or the words?”
Emma: The words
So when she had suggested it as a blog title, I realized that she might be serious about the whole words thing.
Me: “Why, Emma? Is it because you feel like you’re broken and are in repair?”
I felt a sadness wash over me. It’s something that I’ve thought of, but haven’t wanted to think of – that Emma has been made to feel broken; that she needs to somehow be fixed. I think about all the times that I might have made her feel that way. It’s one of those things that, if I’m being really honest, has been a heavy aspect to knowing how intelligent and sensitive she is. This whole process has been an overwelming mixture of exhiliration and remorse.
I told her that I just couldn’t use that title, but that she could use it when she has her own blog or writes her own book someday. It was too painful to think about. And yet I don’t want to stifle her expression. My God, after ALL these years of having no voice, I must let her express her thoughts and feelings even if they’re painful for me to absorb.
I realize how rusty I am at this parent thing. I’ve never had to do this kind of parenting before. Now, I’m given this opportunity to give her emotional support and am not sure what to say, but to tell her that she’s NOT broken. That she’s wonderful just the way she is. How can I make up for the past? I know there were times she must have felt like no one believed in her, not even me. And yet, I really feel that she doesn’t dwell on that, and maybe neither should I. I had asked her if she thought about the past alot, when she was little. On the letterboard, she had said, “Not too much”. And I felt some comfort in her words, because I could see clearly that her journey is her own. Her individuality shines through and I KNOW she is okay.
We all love songs we can feel connected to. I share in her love of lyrics. And I have to admit that I love a devastating song just as much as a happy one. I think this song is a little bit of both…….