Last night I read something that crippled me with sadness.
“I can’t fall apart” I kept saying to myself. I have two hungry boys to feed and get off to bed. So that was my mantra and just as us Mom’s do, I kept on going with a smile on my face, knowing I could melt down later in the quiet of my room alone. My boys don’t need to see this.
I was tucking my kids into bed and as always they were all the sudden just as hungry as if they had ran a marathon, just as thirsty as if they had walked across the Sahara Desert, just as whiny as if they were toddlers again. I was on the verge of losing it so I finally said they NEEDED to get to sleep RIGHT NOW because I could do this. Not TONIGHT.
They immediately picked up that something was wrong because I showed them a crack. My oldest is an old soul and wouldn’t drop it because he could tell I wasn’t ok. Finally I said, look I’m really SAD and need to go to sleep because my head hurts. He kept pushing “why are you sad” and I just kept saying it doesn’t matter as I choked back tears and tucked them in tighter.
As I was walking out of their room, he basically yelled at me:
You ALWAYS say if you are sad, you should talk about it Mom!
That was the sentence that cracked me and I started bawling. Because their my 7 year old was teaching me a lesson that I had taught him.
I turned back around and sat down on the bed and explained to them in very kid-friendly terms what had happened. And I cried. And we sat together and cuddled and held hands.
I told my boys that sometimes life is hard, that sometimes not so fun things happen and sometimes we experience setbacks. BUT that as long as we had each other, we would make it through ANYthing because we are a family and we are STRONGER together. That during hard times, we DO talk about it and then hold hands tighter with each other. We can do HARD things and get through hard things together. Period.
I kissed them off to sleep and went back to my room. Ty was right. I did feel better. I talked about my sadness with my people and I felt better knowing that even though my kids are little, they are here for me as I am here for them. We are a family and we will always stick together. They are my only certainty and consistency and they are mine.
I share this because sadness is an emotion we ALL face. Cue the movie Inside Out. Sadness is almost just as powerful or even more powerful than Joy. It heals. It bonds. It’s sacred. Don’t hide it. Let it heal you. And Ty is right, if you feel sadness, talk about it with the ones who will hold your hand. I promise, it makes the whole world right again when you can cry and hold the ones you love in times of pain. That is when you can experience true JOY.