Recently I wrote a poem about how my daughter has become afraid of everything. It’s been a tough phase for sure. She never wants to be without me. At one or two years old this is a phase everyone understands, but at eight it starts to wear thin. We took it seriously from the get-go. Bringing her to the therapist we love and trust. The one who helped our son through the transition of skipping a grade right into the craziness of middle school. There, she talked it out and left the office practically floating on air. She chatted all the way back to school. She laughed at the silly things that used to make her laugh. Even her teacher noticed her giddiness. Therapy helped in a way my discussions with her did not. It also gave us new language to use. “Your internal alarm is being over-sensitive and you need to reset it and remind yourself that it’s not working right.”
Then my husband and I got another idea. Let’s make her room a special place to be! So we put a weekend of love into a renovation. I took my girl to Home Depot to buy the color paint she wanted and a beautiful cream colored carpet. Then we stopped at JoAnn Fabrics. Finally we went to AC Moore for a huge wall decal. When we got home, we went to work. Her father painted the room and put up the decal of a huge tree with hot pink and yellow owls resting in its branches. I sewed owl fabric up the sides to make curtains that would cover the dark of night. We covered the floor with cream colored carpet, put the curtains up and like magic, the room was transformed. Annie did a cartwheel and shouted with joy. It was hard not to feel proud of our work.
Last night was the first night Annie spent the whole night in her room. I think it’s working.