Anytime my child and I go through a proportionate change in our lives, he expresses his confusion the way most three year olds do. He turns into a little tornado of emotions at the drop of a hat.
Recently, when I went to pick him up from the daycare after church service he was very adamant that he did not want to leave his friends. This led to me eventually having to tuck a screaming toddler under my arms, his shoes he refused to put on in the other hand, and trek through the lobby wondering if someone was about to claim I was kidnapping a little boy… Yes I know all parents go through these moments, but it's embarrassing and difficult nonetheless.
After having to pull over multiple times on the ride home, developing a head splitting migraine, and all the avenues of corrective behavior later. I did what I always do and sat down with him once we were both in our calm and had a chat.
In our calm, with his face still tear tracked he looks at me and goes “Mama, I think I just needed monster breaths (deep breaths) and Mac-Cheese.”
At that moment, I was so proud of my little terror.. I mean toddler. Sometimes when expressing loud emotions, it can be really difficult to think through what our needs are after the fact. To voice them to someone else, and allow ourselves the time to respond to our own needs.
Lots of Holiday gatherings are at our doorstep. And for everyone, this isn’t necessarily the easy, happy go lucky time that is portrayed across all media platforms. Some of us are facing grief, loss, uncomfortable family encounters, and that can make what should be a happy time, very heavy. We may not all be in the same boat, but we are facing the same waters. Those waters aren’t always forgiving and tranquil.
So in the wise words of my three year old terror, I hope you guys are all able to provide yourself the space and grace to simply take a monster breath, and enjoy some Mac-Cheese. Or whatever else it is that brings you comfort and solace in the moments that otherwise are too heavy to express.