The Payoff

I’m sharing this story on the request of my mother, who wanted me to write it down.

Sometimes as a mom you feel like your efforts are fruitless. And I mean that. You try and try and try to get a certain thing through and you don’t see any movement at all. It can make it really difficult to keep pressing forward. For example, some days I feel over the top trying to get my boys to express their emotions and deal with them in a healthy way. And I felt like nothing was seeking in.

Well, I got lucky. One day, I got to see the payoff.

I was having a hard day. Trying to get my two year old to eat is like trying to stick the wrong end of two magnets together. It’s just NOT going to happen somedays. So I was trying and trying and trying and somehow during the shuffle a full glass of juice got knocked onto the floor. CRASH SPLASH!

I could feel myself on the verge of exploding. But I FORCED myself to be that freaking mom from Daniel Tiger and make my emotions clear but soft. I said, “I’m feeling very mad and I need to take a time out in my room!”

And then I left into my bedroom to cry.

It was quiet in the kitchen. Very quiet. And then suddenly I heard little feet shuffling and the pantry door open. Meanwhile, the bedroom door creaked open and my two-year-old sat on my lap. He put his hands gently on my cheeks and I heard my own words come back to me.

“Are you sad, Mommy? It helps to say it. You can say it, you can say, ‘I’m sad’.”

Through my tears I blurted out, “I’m sad.” And then I surprised myself by adding, “Mommy’s sad because Daddy is gone at work all day and Mommy is so tired.”

!!! I didn’t even know that’s why I was overwhelmed until my two-year-old got me to say it!

He then told me that I needed a ‘sad song” and began to sing it. ‘The sad song’ is a song that I invented and sing to my boys when they cry. These are the words:

It’s okay to be sad.

It’s okay to be mad.

But if you scream, hurt or throw that’s bad.

So put your hand on your heart,

And count to four really slow.

One… two… three… four

Now, quick! Tell me what color is your toe!

Hahaha! I don’t know. But it DID make me feel better! I had stopped crying. I went back into the kitchen where I found my actual four-year-old, MOPPING UP THE JUICE with a Swiffer! I probably started crying again. Jack put the mop away. And then suddenly, Casey was eating his lunch.

I guess the moral of the story is that you never know your impact. Most of the time, you feel like you don’t have ANY impact at all. But you really do! They remember what you say and how you act. My boys knew EXACTLY what to do for me when I was sad and it meant all the world to me.

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