Tears Worth Shedding

Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so you apologize for truth.” – Benjamin Disraeli

My mom was asking if my son still cries when I drop him off at daycare. He switched into a new class about two weeks ago and since the change, he’s had a harder time with that initial separation even though he’s perfectly happy after I leave. At the same time he switched classes, I also started taking him to Starbucks before school so that we could sit, look at cars and dogs and have a touch point for just the two of us after I drop his sister at school. My mom suggested, “Maybe he’s having a hard time at drop off because he likes the time with you at Starbucks so much.”

Which could very well be the case. But it begs the question if we should be distant with others so that they don’t miss us too much. Or we could be downright crappy to them. I know that my mom was not exactly suggesting that but it’s a little bit of a family tradition to be difficult when doing something for someone that you don’t want to have to do again. The unspoken strategy is to make it so painful that they’ll never ask again. Doesn’t that sound more fun that just saying “no”? 😊

I’ve consciously or unconsciously used this ploy for every guy I’ve broken up with. So I can say from experience, it doesn’t make the separation any easier. It just tinges all the memories with gray.

All of this reminds me of something I heard the writer Ashley C. Ford say, “I tried to live a disappointing life in order to not be disappointed.”

I understand the pull to stay very small in order to have a tidy life and never disappoint anyone else or myself. But I’ve learned that it doesn’t work to do anything but limit life experiences and connection to others.

This morning, my son and I went to Starbucks and had fun. We joked about who was going to school and who was going to work. He still cried when I left but I heard it differently. They were the cries of a huge love, the pain of missing each other and a big life. Those are the tears I think are worth shedding!

Ride the Wave

You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

I started meditating this morning and instead of bringing me peace, more and more fears popped up. Fear of my son’s transition to a new classroom and teachers at school. Fear for how the mornings and evenings would go for me as I try to support him through it and get him to eat, sleep and change diapers. Fear of whether his little friend at school was still enrolled. Fear about whether my fellow carpoolers would remember that it was early release for our daughters at school today and pick them up on time.

Sometimes meditation uncovers crap that I’d prefer to leave boxed up.

I sat on my meditation cushion just trying to observe the fears as they popped up. Soon I was just pouring with sweat and sitting in an uncomfortable heap. But after a few minutes, maybe five or maybe ten, I ran out of worries. All of a sudden I realized I could hear my neighbor’s fountain in their back yard and then I opened my eyes and the sun was coming up. Everything, including me, felt sunnier.

Life keeps teaching me not to interrupt the natural cycles. By letting my worries and fears pop themselves up and wear themselves out til I was empty, I naturally filled back up with faith. Leaning into the process and sweating it out, I am learning to ride the wave instead of fighting the current. My younger self fought the current the whole way insisting on keeping the worries on the inside, the sunniness on the outside and being enervated by the battle the whole day long. But I’ve found when I ride the wave, sooner or later, I am delivered back to solid ground where I continue on with the day, surprisingly refreshed.