My Child's Emotions

Sometimes I don’t cut the toast quite right, and sometimes I do. Sometimes when we brush our teeth it’s a fun activity, and other times, not so much. There are mornings which are filled with laughter and smiles and others with tears and limp flailing bodies. One morning - which had a combination of all of the above, the tears came and stayed, breakfast was thrown in the sink and l was out of ideas. 

I decided to take the flailing Tobester out of the kitchen and upstairs into a different environment to see if that would help. I put him down and sat on the nearby rocking chair. My instincts would be to distract him with a toy or ask him questions to see if there was something I could do to help. This time, I sat quietly and calmly, told him that I was here for him and looked at him with love and compassion. I managed my emotions so he could manage his. 

What seemed like days but was simply a few minutes later, Toby walked over to me, raised his hands in the air and up onto my lap he came. We sat together and he cried. I breathed deeply, I held him close and I didn’t say a word.

Time passed and the crying stopped. His little hands wiped his big crocodile tears and he pointed towards the door indicating that he was ready to go back downstairs. 

Right before my eyes, Toby had experienced an emotion all the way through. He was simply having his own thoughts, which were causing his own feelings and he was letting it out. He was allowing the emotion to be there with him. He was not trying to get rid of it or push it away.

I can learn so much from Toby because he has not yet learned that negative emotions are bad and positive emotions are better. He doesn’t resist his emotions by opening a bag of sour cream and onion chips (so good!) and proceeding to eat half the bag because he can’t stand the discomfort. Instead, he experiences his emotions - the vibrations in his body - the way he knows how and he doesn’t make it mean something is terribly wrong.

Being a human being means experiencing all of the emotions and realizing that they are all ok and are all a part of life. As much as there are many moments where Toby is unhappy and I find myself going to the place where I think something is wrong and I want to make him feel better, I remind myself that my job as his mama is to love him and be there for him always. My job is not to fix him or try to take away his pain. 

Why not? Because there is nothing to fix. He is perfect, just as he is.

Screaming at the top of his lungs, making silly faces, feeling and acting out his disappointment because I turned off Peppa Pig or calmly sitting reading a book on the couch. In all of those situations, he is absolutely exactly as he should be. Living his human life. 

Toby, thank you for reminding me that experiencing emotions - all of them - is a part of life. Thank you for reminding me to show compassion and love to myself when I am experiencing uncomfortable feelings. And thank you for reminding me that there is no joy without sorrow, love without heartache, peace without pain. It’s part of being a human being and it will forever be this way. xo

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