Tonight I was putting my 8 year-old daughter to bed, and she had tears brimming in her eyes. I asked what was wrong, and she said, “I don’t know…I just feel sad. Does that ever happen to you? What if I’m sad about something and I don’t even know why?” She looked down and silent tears fell down her sweet almost-not-a-baby-anymore cheeks.
Moments like these make me pause and take a long breath. Yes, she’s only 8. But if someone had told me, when I was 8, that there would be moments in life where I just felt SAD, and didn’t know quite why, and that it was okay, and that tomorrow would maybe, probably, be a bit better, well that would’ve been a great thing to hear. And how many times have I, as an adult, felt like this?
Then she looked at me and asked, “Why does the world have to be so BIG?” And just then, as a 43 year-old looking at an 8 year-old, I felt totally connected to her. “It does feel big, doesn’t it? So overwhelming sometimes. And sometimes, it just feels good to CRY and not really know why.”
Sometimes, even if we don’t have the perfect answer, it’s good enough to just be present, and there, in the moment, with our kids. And let them feel what they feel, and push away the urge to ‘fix’ anything.
And it’s good for them to see us a little bewildered, too.