I will be the first to admit I'm not a great mom. I know I have many faults and have made many mistakes in raising you. The incident over the necklace is just one example of those parenting mistakes.
When I picked you up from school the other week and your aide told you to show me what your friend/classmate gave you I was expecting it to be another one of those rubber band bracelets you've been coming home with.
I wasn't expecting to see the dainty, silver necklace with the "K" around your neck.
I admit to having almost two simultaneous thoughts. The first being absolutely touched that your friend gave you a gift like that. I had to hold back the tears.
Immediately following that thought was a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach as I thought to myself that this gift was going to end up broken in no time.
I was surprised to even see you wearing that necklace. You don't like to wear anything on your arms, around your neck, or in your hair. So while I was touched by the gift she gave you I also felt like it was kind of wasted on you as it would end up sitting on your dresser, or more likely, broken.
On the way to therapy I kept pointing out your necklace and how nice it was of "I" to give it to you and how important it was to take care of it. I kept mentioning that you had to be careful with your necklace so it didn't break.
You were great about keeping it on the rest of the day. That night after I finished making dinner I went upstairs to get you and noticed all the lights were off. I found you in bed with your pajamas on. You said you were tired so I cuddled up beside you and started rubbing your back.
I don't know what made me think about your necklace, must have been intuition, but I reached up to your neck and asked you where you necklace was. You said, "It broke."
I admit I reacted a bit too strongly to the news of what I figured would happen had happened so soon after receiving the gift - that it didn't even last a full day.
I jumped out of your bed and said, (ok more like yelled), "What?! Kayla where is your necklace?!"
You told me it was on your dresser and there I found it split in the middle - no way for me to fix it.
I was so upset and didn't control my feelings well at all. I yelled at you about not being responsible and taking care of your things and look at what happens you end up breaking your stuff. Then I continued in my childish ways and stomped down the stairs so frustrated.
You came down for dinner and sat at the table where I was still fuming over the broken necklace and I didn't let it go. I continued to be upset about it and harp on you about breaking a necklace that someone gave you and how this was such a special gift.
Of course it was no surprise when you left the table and I heard you in the bathroom crying.
I sat at the table and cried too.
Cried because I was ashamed at the way I just reacted and cried at the way that I treated you and cried that I yelled at you and mostly cried because my actions caused you to cry.
I heard you in the bathroom crying and saying, "It broke itself. I didn't do it, it broke itself."
And there I went again, "Kayla it didn't just break by itself! You had to have done something to cause it to break the way it broke. You did something, you weren't careful!"
More tears. From both of us.
I finally went to you and in a more calm voice asked you if you were trying to take your shirt off when you changed to your pajamas; and when you pulled your shirt over your head did the necklace get caught and break? You said yes, but it's hard to know if that's what really happened.
I pulled you in to a hug and apologized to you. I told you I was sorry
for yelling at you about the necklace. I told you I still loved you. I
know it didn't make everything better, but I wanted you to know I was
sorry and that I still loved you despite my less-than-desirable
I don't even know why I was so upset over the necklace. I tried to find
the words to explain it to you, but I don't think we got very far.
think it was because this necklace meant more to me than it did to you.
I think I've always put a lot of importance on material things ...
attached memories to them and they became my memories. Material things
became important to me. I had scrapbooks filled with things from
my growing up years. Things that I kept because this person or that
person gave it to me, or tickets to this movie or that movie because I
went with so-and-so.
I was so touched that this girl gave you a
present, I think maybe for Christmas. I don't know how many other girls
she might have given a gift to as well, or if you were the only one, but either way, you were one that she did
choose to give a gift to. You were included. She thought of you and
wanted to give you something and I wanted that to mean something to you.
And you were happy about it- I could see it in your face when
you showed it to me. But I wanted you to be like me. I wanted you to be
responsible like I was when I was your age. I wanted you to take care of your
things. I wanted you to just know how you were supposed to take care of the necklace. I wanted you to take pride in it.
think my anger was anger at myself that I unfairly directed at you.
Anger because of my own image of you doesn't always reflect the person who you are.
Anger at myself because sometimes I blame your having Down syndrome on
things that frustrate me. I had the fleeting thought that if you didn't
have Ds you might have cared more about the necklace, might have been
more careful when changing your clothes, might have just known how to be
gentle with it. I know that's not fair and that is one of my faults. I
never said I was perfect. I know I'm far from it.
I know there
was no reason to be so upset over a $5 necklace from Claire's. The "K"
charm on it was still intact; all I had to do was replace the chain. I
did apologize to you, but I'm saying it again that I'm sorry I went
overboard. I was just hoping the gift of this necklace would last longer
than an afternoon.
I did go to Claire's and get a new chain.
But by then I had traumatized you about the necklace because you refused
to wear it. I convinced you it would be ok to wear it to school and
that your friend would be happy to see you wearing the gift she gave
you. You finally relented and I've been able to get you to wear it a few
I'm not the best mom, but I am trying to be better. Thank you for forgiving me for my faults.
Love, your Mom.