My starboy Ezra(5) was weepy from the moment he awakened, a flood of tears with a story of why he was upset that didn’t really have a lot of rational cohesion. He just needed a lot of space held for a river of emotions flooding through his five year old being. It took me a couple of minutes to find my way into skillful relating with his sadness and his story.
At first I was relating to the clock, feeling: “Come on, let’s go!” and that wasn’t going over too well with his tender-hearted self. So then remembering: ok just slow down and take this moment to fully be with him where he’s at. Holding him, entering into rapport, affirming his feelings: “Yes, my love, I hear you saying you are sad and disappointed that it’s Friday which means it’s the last day of camp, and you’re wishing that you could go to camp all weekend, and so you don’t even want to go to camp today because you’re so sad and disappointed it’s the last day?”
He nodded, miserably, tears and snot all over his face, as he collapsed once again, sobbing into my chest. I just held him close, rocking him a bit, feeling his little arms and legs wrapped tight around me, and affirmed again: “Oh my love, yes, you’re feeling so sad and disappointed.” Once he felt truly heard, and held, and I had totally surrendered into the blessing of having his beautiful heart against my heart, breathing him in, it only took a few moments for him to find his center and his smile again, and say: “Let’s go make breakfast Mom!” Yes! Skillful relating wins again.
Later, as we were driving to go meet up with the carpool, I suddenly noticed now Arayla (9) was crying, softly yet visibly, in the seat next to me. What an emotional morning! I was surprised and said with concern: “What’s up, Love?” She put her hands on her heart, and, crying, said, “I’m just feeling so badly for all the times I’m not kind to my brother. He’s so little still and doesn’t know better. And I get so impatient and I just feel so bad for being mean to him.” She put her face in her hands and sobbed with shame and remorse.
I was so moved by her heartful and mature self-reflection. I said gently: “Oh that is so beautiful to notice, Love. This is where the healing happens. How about you just let your brother know how you’re feeling, and see what he says?” She turned back to him in the back seat and said, tearfully: “Ezra? I’m so sorry I’m mean to you sometimes. I love you so much and I really want to do better.” His face beamed with love for her, and his little hands reached for her, and he said, simply: “Sister!” Then he said: “I always forgived you. I always love you too.”
Truly moved, I said: “This is relationship, guys. We do our best, we make mistakes, we see we want to “do better”, and that makes our hearts wiser, more open, more able to love each other well. We say we are sorry and we forgive, and then we get to show up and love more deeply. I’m so proud of you.” <3