I see you. I see your will. I see how you are looking for a place for yourself in this conversation, in this family and home. And there is room for you.
I hear you and your desire. I hear its importance to you and appreciate its importance in the larger scope of the experiences you have lived. I want this for you too.
I’m proud you believe you can do this. Your confidence in this moment is a great success. And it’s a promise for many incredible moments later in your life.
I would like to stay here with you, watch, and encourage each attempt. Each try is precious and makes me proud. I could not love you more than in this moment.
I am trying to say that despite all of this we cannot do what you want. There are other people. There are other things. This is frustrating to me too. I wish we could give you time for this now.
Please do not remember I couldn’t support you in this moment and had to veto your desire. It does not represent what I want for you. I want you to stay strong. I want you to keep expressing your will and desires. I want you to keep believing in yourself.
Then I say out loud:
I’m sorry but you have to wear different shoes today. You have tried hard to tie the laces but we do not have time to try any more. We have to get to school. You are about to be late. I promise to help you practice more tonight.
I’m proud of you.
I love you.
I take a deep breath, change shoes against battling hands, and pick up my screaming 5 year old. We both lost this battle. I attempt to convey my sincere apology with a hug.