This morning I cleaned out the van a bit in preparation for our trip up north next week. Marisol got upset with me for cleaning out the pockets in front of her seat. I was a bit baffled - it was a bunch of shells, wrappers and other trash, and some other random toys and bits. I thought she knew I was cleaning out the car. I was annoyed that she was so ticked at me. So I detached a bit for a while. I let her say what she needed to but I didn't engage too much.
Then later I went to talk to her. I crouched down in front of her - she was sitting in the computer chair - and I offered to put the stuff back. While I talked to her the song "Keep Breathing" came on the Pandora channel I was listening to (the music came from my phone in my butt-pocket. Super inspiring, I know!)
Eventually as Marisol kept talking some other issues came up. She didn't feel great. She was feeling stressed about going to our friends' house because there were going to be other kids there and she was worried it wouldn't work out well. She wanted to go, but she wasn't sure she was up for it. (And she didn't really care about the stuff I had moved out of the van... phew! Still, when am I going to learn to check with her EVERY TIME before touching/moving her things?? Sometimes I'm so slow!)
I nodded; I empathized; I offered options of what we could do. I told her we didn't need to go and that her friend wouldn't be terribly disappointed today because she had other friends coming over. I told her we could find out if they could get together Monday.
We ended up going. She ended up not having a great time so we left earlier than we planned. But then we had a great discussion the whole drive home about relationships and communication and how people learn things and how some people have a harder time with things than others. She definitely wasn't thrilled with the way things had gone done, but she also wasn't out of control because of her feelings (which has happened plenty of other times.)
We got home and only had a very little time to get ready for her dance class. But we made it on time. Gerry was a trooper. When we got home from dance she played with her neighbor friends. As we got ready for bed she said that the rest of the day had been better because she had fun at dance and playing. She said just because part of the day wasn't good that didn't mean it all had to be bad. Alleluia! I've said this to her a few times (thank you Sandra Dodd!) - that bad moments don't make a whole day bad, that we can move on and have good moments - it seems like it might be sinking in.
And somewhere in there I heard the "Keep Breathing" song again - on the drive home, or at home - I'm not sure. But it was perfect. And true... Sometimes all we can do is keep breathing, until the next moment, and the next moment, and somehow we get through the not so good ones and the great ones come round again.
Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.