I’ve been rudely awakened by the home alarm. 7 o’clock on the dot. I intended to wake at that time yesterday. Yet, I would have gladly ignored the alarm for another half hour to finish my dream. If it wasn’t me flipping the alarm by searching for the newspaper from the front door, then it must have been a child heading downstairs to start laundry.
When I head to the main level, I realize it takes much effort on my part. I am draggy and achy. Two others are achy and sick to their stomachs. Aiy, an unpleasant start to the day. I make my coffee…too much water, not enough coffee grounds. The shot of caffeine I’m looking for will take me six mugs to drink. This, not being my most difficult trouble for the day, still, speaks to its unhappiness. They come in threes I’m told….let’s hope the coffee thing is the third.
There’s an undeniable truth I’ve come to understand about parenting that has taken me an awful long time to see clearly, because I wanted to deny it: if you’re happy, sad, mad or glad, you’ll see that reflected in your kids. No, I’m not trying to suggest that they are a full mirror image of our selves. They have their distinct approaches to pretty much any situation. But if I’m not feeling great, neither will they. If I am chipper, they feed on that energy.
Kinda like a mama bird feeding her baby birds. It isn’t direct nourishment like a mama bird though: I’m not feeding them angry pills at that time of the month. I’m not feeding them amphetamines when I’m happy. Or antidepressants when I’m sad. There is, though, an energy transmitted from me to them that occurs naturally like the osmosis of a fluid across the cell membrane. One doesn’t have to try, it just happens.
Drat! If only that weren’t so. We could live in our bubbles of irritation when it suited us and react any old way. We could brood because something didn’t turn out the way we wanted. We could eat our chocolate almonds and Lays potato chips in bed and watch Netflix on our iPod all day when we felt depressed.
I’m a firm believer that we acknowledge our emotions. Deny them and there won’t be a solution to not feeling the negative emotions continually. The consequences will come out in stilted or destructive relationships. There’s just no way around it. Must go through the muck to get out of the muck. I’m not suggesting we pretend away our emotions for the sake of our kids; we just need to fight through them to find a way to understand them and deal with the problem that’s causing them…and requiring that others around us do the same.
Having said that, we are responsible for containing our emotions. See Dick run. Jane runs too. See Dick smile. Jane smiles too. See Dick hit. Jane hits back. We’ve seen this in the microcosm of our children’s relationships.
Tis true for us too. So, though the coffee beside me is now diluted AND cool. Even though the piercing pain behind my right ear is welcoming me into my morning. And even though two of my children are not eager to get up to do anything, I will walk out of this room less chipper than normal (I can’t conjure happiness, THAT looks very stilted)…yet, I will walk out this door and spread some cheer. The days will get brighter, they always do. We will focus on the blessings that we’ve been given. The flu is in our midst, not leukemia. I can choose to have a new start to my day and my espresso machine will have a new start too.