this morning, it was my boy's turn to be sad.
Nothing was right from the start. Poor guy; he tried to do his busy things, tried to get his brain working, tried just to write a sentence really, but a sentence simply didn't want to be writ.
I could feel his energy, slowly dwindling. It was like watching someone try to swim through glue.
And I could blame myself… if I look back, I see there are ways I tried (with good intentions, but still…) to steer his day when I didn't need to… (like suggest breakfast and perhaps getting on with some projects, when I think he really just wanted to read and read Watership Down 'til his eyes wore out)
I could blame his tiredness on going to sleep late, or his busy dreams, or his trouble going to sleep at night (just like his mum)
I could blame nothing,
and accept a day which simply was
unsticking for him.
Until there he was in tears, on my lap on the couch.
Yep, I know. My boy's ten, nearly 11. If he was at school he'd be expected to tough a moment like this out. Bury it. Get on with life. Buck up. Whoever heard of a ten year old boy sitting on his mum's lap actually confiding in her?
I have. It's kind of beautiful.
My boy sat on my lap (because he could)
and blurted out how awful he felt (because I was listening),
and said he didn't know why but today wasn't a good day at all.
(And I said, Man, I've totally had days like that!)
Then I said, Is there anything I can do? How can we turn this around, I wonder?
He didn't know what or how. Just didn't. And he leaked some more.
I said, Well, the first thing to do, is have a good cry if you need to.
(because a good cry is the best way to clear things out, you know? Kind of like how after the rain, everything seems washed and clear. Like it's been through a big old carwash and it's all shiny. A cry can bring such shine. Tears are so underrated!)
So my boy snuggled in and cried, just a little, just enough. And after a while, he said, You're the best mum ever. You always make things better.
Which was kind of funny to hear, because all I'd done was be squished by my boy and talk a bit… but I knew,
in that moment, what he meant and why things were better already.
Because here he can be.
He can cry if he needs to and no-one will tell him to stop. He can talk any time about his feelings. He doesn't have to wait until a set time to let it spill out of him or have it be buried by then. He can feel terrible in one moment, then—after a good cry and talk and brainstorm and rethink—feel just wonderful afterwards.
Which he did, you know. We rejigged the day. Changed the trajectory, adjusted the focus, fiddled with a few bobs and bits and buttons and
got back to it.
And the day turned out pretty fine for him, I'm thinking!
It involved playing an awesome Ancient Egypt computer game and Duck Duck Bruce, plus reading Watership Down on the couch. It was a day with funny poetry writing in it, and totally-focussed piano practice and Band. It had talking and loving and laughing and learning.
And it had a sense of safety and a sense of self.
Oh, it was a great turnaround kind of day. It was all kinds of shiny and freshly washed.
And beautiful. Did I mention already how beautiful it was?