You test me. You try my patience. More words that people say that I’ve instinctively pushed away because the meaning behind those words is generally “you are manipulating me. You are trying to see what you can get away with.” Those words drip in negativity and suggest strongly that I should not respond to your tears with anything that resembles softness or compassion.
You do test me, though. You test me to see if I am trustworthy and if I can handle all the hard stuff that life throws at us. You test me to see if you can come to me when you are hurting or upset. You test me to see if I will offer comfort or push you away. You test me to see if I can recognize the scale of your emotions as they fit within the experiences of your life rather than looking at them from the scale of mine. You’re testing me to see if I’m the type of person that you’ll talk to as a teenager without fear of being made to feel stupid when you’re simply inexperienced. You’re testing me to know if you can come to me with heartbreak, with stupid mistakes that you need help with as you live with the consequences.
Will I be the person to laugh at the dreams that you have and tick off the reasons why they are foolish? Will I talk to you about the steps to take to make things real?
Will I disown you? Hit you? Intimidate you? Pull you near and hug you close and whisper that I love you fiercely and you’ve made mistakes but that we all do, and thank goodness you trust me enough to come to me for help..?
I will do that, you know. I’ll share the stories of my own mistakes, I’ll reassure you that you are human and that I am human and that sometimes mistakes are made. I’ll let you know that regrets stick around forever, but that redemption can be found in making choices that change your course. I’ll trust you to make those wise choices, and when you do I will be so bloody proud of you, just as I am proud of you now when you trust me to help you meet your needs. Just as I am proud of you now when you trust me to help you deal with your strong emotions. Just as I am proud of you now when you come to me with the truth rather than hiding with it alone.
Oh child, you are testing me. And oh do I hope I pass your test.