What is it about a little child, a little hand, that is so soothing. It isn’t a big strong hand. It holds no promise of protection or guidance. It isn’t a hand that will hold you forever in its palm. It will leave you as small hands always must do. It is small and light, yet there is still something that is so soothing about its touch. It is a knowing touch even if it knows nothing about your sorrow.
This morning was a difficult morning, full of change and new routines. In short it hurt, all of us. It was empty and quiet. There was no rush to separate and live independently for those school hours. We wanted to stay together and just love. The fighting and sibling jabs that normally mark our mornings were gone. They just knew that they needed to love each other and be there, even if they were all going to different places for the day.
I struggled to maintain composure and fulfill those morning activities that needed to be done for the kids. They need me no matter my state. They needed breakfast, real breakfast, not just a quickly thrown together bowl of cereal slid across the table. They needed sustenance, eggs, toast, fruit. They needed lunches packed and water bottles filled. Yes, this morning, even WANTS were NEEDS. They needed me to give them reassuring looks and tons of love and smiles, even if the smiles hurt so badly. That is what they need today and always as we navigate this unknown. They need to hear and see that things will be OK. They need to understand that we cannot know what will come but no matter what, it will be OK.
It feels like a lie. At this time, the unknown is scary, even if I have to tell them that wonderful things lie in our future, our OK future. Fake it until you make it, right. I keep thinking that if I say it enough, that it will magically come true, that wonderful things are to come.
As I finally got them out the door with smiles and waves, I broke. Waterfalls of tears and held back pain. I am really good at pasting on a smile when I am out in the world interacting with people. I can hide it from others, but in my household world, that smile is tougher to find. I try to hide my pain from The Littles. They also need to know that things will be OK even if they don’t understand the magnitude of this morning and the eerie silence. They still can laugh and joke around with each other. They can play with abandon and enjoy each moment of this new day. Well, today, of all days when I needed to show them how OK things are, I couldn’t hide it any longer. It was there. I feel guilt for that, but there it is. When you just can’t fake it anymore, you just can’t fake it.
Piper in all her sassiness, who struggles to not have attitude when talking to anyone, climbed up in my lap and took my hand. She rested her head on my shoulder and stayed there. No wiggles. No eager body that wanted to move and get back to play. Her little hand calmed me instantly, so small. It knew nothing of the pain but knew that it needed to be there. It only wanted to comfort. For all of their oblivious behavior, they do know. They sense our strength and they know our weakness. They understand in their own way, that we are human. They seem to lose this as they age, but for these precious years, they know. See in a child’s bubble, everything will be OK. It has to. Each day is a new wonderful experience to look forward to and not fear. That little hand holds so much promise that you can’t not think that tomorrow will be better and that the future will hold wonderful things. The kitchen may be a mess and the future may be completely unknown, but somehow, it will contain unknown wonderful things. I have to trust in that child’s love and excitement. Things will be OK, no matter where they take me.