Lullabye (goodnight, my angel)

Until you are there, you’ll never know. Sitting with my daughter, while she cries because a boy broke her heart… you’ll never know the helplessness, and the heartbreak, until you’re there.

I’ve spoken of my daughter before; she is perfect, in all of her imperfection. She is unique, kind, caring, attentive, compassionate, funny, sweet, smart, pretty, intentioned (which is rare in teenagers), respectful, insightful…. and some punk-ass boy broke her heart.

The details of this heartbreak are rather unimportant. Suffice it to say it is the second time, after she gave him another chance when he screwed up the first time. Stupid. That is all I can say, and still stay in control.

After she came home, I lied in bed with her. Snuggled together at 1am, I asked her what she was thinking. Guess what she said. She said, “I don’t know why I am not important enough for him to make the effort to care about me.” …. It was as if I was hearing my own words echoed to me through her voice. I lied there and cried with her; for her heartbreak; for mine.

I have never gone through my past in great detail with my daughter. I have let bits and pieces of my youth out to her. But overall, I have allowed her to grow into the young lady that she wants to be; rather than the projection she thinks that I want her to be.

But, last night (and into the wee hours of the morning), I recounted my past romances to her. There weren’t a whole lot. But there were a few:

  • One boy who was always so nice to me, my first love. But our lives were both pretty tumultuous. So we parted ways. A great guy… I wish we would have figured something out. We remain friends… I am thankful for that.
  • One guy who I really thought I was in love with. The moral of the story? I wasn’t. Nor was he with me. But he broke my heart into a hundred jagged pieces and it took a long time before I recovered from the heartache.
  • Another boy who was a friend. We never got the timing right. But he could have been the one, if we would have known.
  • And then my husband; my high school sweetheart. We’ve invested 16 years into our marriage… but he stepped into my heart when it was very empty. Through all those years we’ve shared together, there have been countless triumphs and heartbreaks… such is the way, I suppose.

But, we talked, and I shared, and allowed her to ask all the questions she wanted. “How did you know you loved him?” “Did you have sex with him?” “How did he show you he loved you?” And I shared answers with her that were far more important than just yes and no. I talked about respect. I talked about worth. And I talked about how those things start within yourself, first. I told her, “We teach people how we want to be treated.”

And then we lied together in silence. She gets it. And now, so do I. Then… a melody started in my head. A song that has long meant so much to me began to play and I quietly sang to her while she slipped into sleep.

Goodnight my angel. Time to close your eyes, and save these questions for another day.
I think I know what you’ve been asking me. I think you know what I’ve been trying to say.
I promised I would never leave you. And you should always know, no matter where you go, no matter where you are, I never will be far away….

You can hear the music here… the song that literally speaks to my soul. And last night, it made my heart swell with love and tears and happiness and sadness all at once. My cup runneth over.


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