Hi! It’s me! Lily!
I’m not going to talk about all the doot dooting I did today. We’ll talk about that kind of thing later I just want to talk about Liz. And maybe to Liz.
So Liz came back a couple of hours later. Apparently Sabby had taken her back to her house, sat her and her parent down, and although I wasn’t there, Liz told me enough that I can paraphrase what they said. It went something like this:
Sabby: “Did you know that your daughter is so lonely she sometimes cries herself to sleep?”
Liz mother: “It’s none of your business how I raise my daughter.”
Sabby (and at this point she started to channel Claire Huxtable, and that’s always a sight to behold): “Maybe it’s not. But If you’re not going to parent her, someone’s got to.”
Liz father: “How dare you -“
Sabby, working up a full head of steam now: “How dare I? How dare YOU? Yes, she’s your daughter, but doesn’t it say something to you that my daughter and I are the ones she came to? She didn’t come to you! Why didn’t you go to them, Liz?”
Liz, quietly: “Because I knew they wouldn’t listen.”
Sabby: “If it’s none of my business, finne. God knows I have enough daughters, I love Liz, she’s a good girl, but I’d really rather not add another one to the list. But then make it yours, for the love of… this is your daughter, and it’s high time you started treating her like one! Being a parent isn’t just about buying her things and making sure she has a good education, though no one can fault you for that! Its about making sure she feels loved!”
Liz mother: “We love you, Zhi Ruo.”
Liz: “You love me? YOU LOVE ME? Then why don’t you ever tell me that? Why don’t you hug me? Why didn’t you EVER HEAR MY CRYING IN MY ROOM?” She stood up and walked to the door, Sabby close behind. “And you know the worst thing? The very worst thing?” Tears were welling up in her eyes. “Sabby’s being a better parent to me than you ever were.”
And they were out. Liz came back in tears. I told her to get in her pajamas, and she spent the next two hours cuddled up to me and crying her eyes out. Two hours! How long has this been going on?? Finally, she passed out, still sobbing. What could I do?
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think she was abused. And I don’t think Liz would even accuse her parents of that. I think they love her, in her own way. And I think Liz knows that, deep down. But they don’t pay attention to her feelings, and it hurts her. A lot. A very lot.
This morning, bright and early, her parents knocked at the door. Her mother had been crying, and her father looked more defeated than I’d ever seen him look before.
“Can we… can we speak to Zhi Ruo, please?”
Liz came down the stairs, her eyes puffy, looking miserable.
Her mother scooped her up in her arms and didn’t let go.
“I’m sorry, Zhi Ruo. I’m so sorry. Let’s go home and talk about it.”
Liz… Zhi Ruo… looked at me, looked at Sabby, her lower lip trembling. She ran over and glomped Sabby. Then, without a word, she walked out with her parents.
After work, I asked her what they’d talked about. She wouldn’t say, not everything. But she did tell me that they talked for hours. They weren’t completely apologetic, because they had been raising her the best they knew how, but they understood how terrible she was feeling, and that they knew that there would have to be some work done to repair their relationship.
But for Liz, that was enough.
That was more than enough.
Sabby is growing up, a little. I’m growing up. Beth is growing up. David is growing up. But so is Liz and her parents. And as long as everyone is growing, everything will be alright.
Everything will be alright.
Everything will be alright.