Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How far we've come

The weirdest thing happened to me today. I received a reply to an email I sent 15 months ago. That has to be some sort of record, right?

15 months ago, in July of 2009, I emailed a family therapist who came highly recommended to me by a very close friend who was in a masters program to become a marriage and family therapist herself.

I rattled off a decent length email outlining what our struggles were with our daughters, who were just five and almost three, and asked if she could help us.

This is what I wrote about the girls (which I came to see again from her replying to my email):

Iris seems to be sooo angry alot of the time. It feels like almost anything that someone does or says she can take as an attack against her and she screams, hits, throws things, scratches, calls names. The worst of her rage gets directed at her sister, whom she has already given a black eye, almost knocked out her two front teeth, given numerous scratches and just yesterday she knocked her down in the wading pool and sat on her, keeping her head under the water until her father got her off. That was by far the scariest thing we've seen her do.

Eloise seems to be following in her sister's foot steps. She is already calling names, hitting, throwing things, etc. She is completely fearless and will run away from us and not stop unless we catch up to her.

When I read this, it all vividly comes rushing back to me. How awful and hard that all was. But it's truly amazing how different my girls are now. They are by no means perfect, but have grown and matured in countless ways.

I think the biggest struggle we have with Iris still is her hurting her sister-- but it's gotten to be so it's once or twice a week, not five times a day. And it's shoving, hitting, nothing terrifying, but stuff we're working on. Eloise has gone from hitting/pushing/name calling as her primary mode of communication (or at least, so it seemed) to by and large relying more on words to get her message across. Again, not perfect-- just yesterday she hit a child at dance class-- but I couldn't even tell you the last time I saw her do that.

This email was such an amazing reminder. I get terribly bogged down with worry over my children's misbehavior and don't often enough recognize the good, or how hard they have worked or how far they have come.

ETA: D'oh! I completely forgot to mention what was up with the late reply. The therapist basically said her email system was wonky and she didn't discover the lost messages until now. She replied to apologize and to wish us well. It was extremely sweet.


  1. So... what did the reply say?

    I'm just curious how helpful this person thought they were being *over a year later*.

  2. This is good for me to read because my kids are 3 and 6 (just turned) and they have a lot of the same behaviours. It makes you wonder if these things will ever change. I keep wondering if they will ever be able to learn to use their words. But I guess they will. Thanks for sharing your story.


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