Most people who meet my daughter will tell you that she seems very grounded. She is a girl with an opinion, and she’s not afraid of sharing it. Her teacher calls it “leadership potential.” Lately however, I find my daughter to be overwhelmingly clingy. Particularly at meals, when I want to have a little space to feed myself. She slides off her chair, and needs to be in constant contact with me. A hand, an elbow, or just pressing her whole body into mine. Ugh! I can feel my whole being recoiling.
I know this feeling because it’s one that I have felt before. I have no idea where it comes from, but I know that when someone tries to get in really close to me, wants more intimacy, more of my attention… I bolt. Something inside me screams “get out!” “get away!” And the weirdest thing is, I spent years on the craving side, so it’s slightly surreal to have to admit that the longing and wanting that I sense in someone else drives me crazy.
But now that I’ve noticed this feeling., now that I can name it as a familiar friend –
Now what do I do?
I do the impossible. I try to stay with the feeling. I try to stay present for my daughter. When the voice in my head screams “Run!” I take a good long look at my daughter and remind myself that she won’t always be clingy. She won’t always be 4 years old for goodness sake. And I'm pretty sure that she won't want to sit on my lap every night when she's 14.
I’d love to hear what behavior drives you crazy. And what you do about it. Leave a comment below.