Loss And Life Lessons

In less than two weeks, we’ve had to say goodbye to both of our pets. My kid awes me in a lot of ways, but his coping mechanisms are a thing of beauty.⁣

I don’t know where he gets them from. I think part of it is just that he’s so intelligent and logical and his brain works so quickly that he can process grief while the rest of us just sit blinking.⁣

My mom thinks we taught him. I’m not sure, but one thing I do know is that I’m not afraid of big emotions. I know it can be a struggle for a lot of people, but when my kid cries or screams or tantrums or gives me attitude, I don’t take it personally. I have big emotions too, so I just talk it out with him and then give him his space (or vice versa if he’s irate.) I try not to react emotionally to his emotions and when I do (because I’m human too) my husband is thankfully there to bring us back to Earth. ⁣

One of the best lessons I’ve learned as a parent is that it’s not about me. My kid’s sadness is not a failure on my part, it means he’s a functioning, feeling human. His misbehaviour does not mean I’m a bad mom, it means he’s a kiddo growing up in a complex world. My job isn’t to shield him, wrap him up in bubble wrap, it’s to help him learn to say “yeah, this is fucking hard, but it will get better.”⁣

And yes, this goes for boys and girls. Real men cry. Real men have feelings. I think there’s a real bias, even if we don’t think we have it, to seeing boys and men cry. Let your boys cry. Let your girls cry. And when they’ve had it out, get them outta there with your medicine of choice. Y’all know I’m a fan of ice cream and cookies. Do what works for you.⁣

It takes practice. It’s work. It’s taking everything in me to not book a trip to Disney or go buy a new pet because *I* want to feel better too. But ultimately, this is life and I know my kiddo will be better off in the long run having experienced it fully. Life isn’t just the good parts, it’s the hard stuff too.⁣

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