Carter was crying over letting go of his balloon outside. He was not physically (maybe emotionally) hurt at the time this photo was taken!
Grief is real for our Littles. It’s so much easier to brush their sad feelings aside and say, “You’re fine, you’ll be all right. Go play.” I need to remember that not focusing on their sad feelings and not giving time to their raw emotions may begin to form unhealthy habits. Reinforcing this dismissive behavior can cause improper emotional processing as they grow. Why don’t we allow them to feel sad? Why don’t we highlight this emotion and accept it as much as their goofy selves?
I want to provide a home that encourages the depth and width of everything life has to offer. I don’t care for precedents or routines (even though I know how important they can be when the Littles are really little). I tend to be the spontaneous half in my marriage and require variety. Yet, when my Littles show a bit of discomfort, one of two things happen: I don’t want them to be upset so I don’t allow myself to really believe the fuss. Or I’m in the middle of marinating chicken and literally don’t have clean hands to give a hug (and leg hugs just aren’t as comforting).
Those sweethearts. Those brave hearts. Those real hearts experience the same feelings we do. They are learning how to express and communicate what they feel. May we pay attention to them! May we open our eyes to their discomfort, lovingly. May we take the moment to coax their frustrations into verbalizing and understanding. May our knees hurt a little longer. May we even shed a tear with them.
How fortunate are we? That they invite us into their pain, their struggle, and their grief. They ask us to be a part of it, to hear them, to comfort them, and to love them. The opportunity we have in shaping these tiny hearts of gold has unending ripple effects. May we hear them, see them, and love them. Through every emotion.