My daughter has been saying "I neeed something" lately, often when she isn't sure what she needs, when she's feeling a little under the weather, or restless. There's a yearning in her voice that is both authentic and also clearly cultivated to get attention. When stressing the "need" isn't satisfying anymore, she varies the emphasis: "I need something." She repeats it softly as she falls asleep, she announces it when she comes home from school, and yells it while stomping through the living room. It is absolutely heartbreaking, frustrating, and hilarious, all at once. She is somehow articulating something we all feel.
She's asking for our help in a way, but also seems aware that my husband and I can't necessarily fulfill her desire. This is evident by her frustration with us when we offer help. Sometimes a good snuggle takes the edge off.
My daughter, who was once completely physically and emotionally dependent on me, whose every need I could fulfill, is starting to need things that I can't necessarily provide. I experience this as both a loss and incredibly liberating. I now have small bits of time and brain space that I have not had in over 2 years. I'm also now more able to see her. In becoming more used to our separate-ness, we've each come to some blank space in our lives. It's in these gaps and spaces that she's learning to be her independent self, and I'm learning to be my evolving self. It's an uncomfortable and rewarding space that we share.
"I like this person. This mom person."
"Just one more caper. Will make me feel better, Mom."