“I hate school! I’m going to smash this computer!”
He slammed his fist on the table, buried his face in his hands and cried. This isn’t every day but this is often, the yelling to pay attention to a prerecorded video on a small screen, the frustration with the five year old who won’t sit still, the stark reminder when the tears begin to flow that he is just that: five years old. It isn’t supposed to be this way, it won’t always be this way. We’ll climb our way out and appreciate the quiet days again, in between the busy ones.
Some days I punish those words, some days I’m so frustrated with myself and the state of things that I sit him on the stairs for those words, forgetting that my child is sending me a message, loud and clear in the best way he knows how: This is hard, mommy. I’m frustrated.
So today I did what I should have done all those other days, what I hope I’ll do next time (because there will be a next time): I scooped up that five year old, all arms and legs, brought him to my lap and I hugged him tight. I held him and I told him he had every right to feel angry. Every right to miss his friends. I reminded him this isn’t forever, even though it feels like it. I validated his sadness, and just let him be.
And that’s it, that’s all – the reminder for me, for you, to just be present for them as much as we can be. They’ve given us so much room to screw up and trip through this year. They deserve the same grace.