Yesterday I was reminded of something. I had a small who was struggling and anxious. She had been out of care for awhile on account of sickness, and was not transitioning back into the routine very well at all. I tried “doing” everything I could think of; all of her favourite activities. We tried painting. We made new playdough. We tried dancing. Yoga. Colouring with markers. We even pulled out the big guns…Curious George on DVD. Still the anxiety and tears remained. I had run out of things to do. I was at a loss.
I sat down on the big comfy chair and quietly watched her struggling to stay afloat in a situation she clearly didn’t want to be in. And then the light came on.
Shhhh.. Be still for a moment and hear her message.
I wrapped her up in my arms and began asking her some simple little questions about herself and about what she wanted to do when she got back home today. I listened. Her voice was strained and high-pitched in the beginning…trying desperately not to cry. As she talked about her dog, her mama, and what she wanted for Christmas, her voice came back to her. I could feel her relax in my arms. I could hear peace returning to her at long last.
When I felt her happy-go-lucky, chatty little self come back, I asked her if she’d like to snuggle some more, or get up and play. She chose to play. And she played. She was so happy I couldn’t bare to tell her it was nap time and I ignored the clock.
I realized that it is not always about doing. It’s not always about distracting. It’s not always about re-directing. Sometimes it’s about finding a little bit of quiet and just listening. We grown-ups sometimes think we know all the tricks in the book for making things better. But I was reminded yesterday, that I certainly do not. I forgot to be quiet and just listen to someone else for a change. Someone smaller than me and infinitely more in-tuned to what she needed. She didn’t need stuff, or activities, or things to do. She needed someone who was willing to hear what she had to say.
So why didn’t she just come up and tell me what she needed? Well first of all, she’s 2. Secondly, have you ever had one of those days when you know exactly what you DON’T need, but can’t put your finger on what it is that you DO need? I know I have. Those are frustrating days, usually fixed by the quiet companionship of someone willing to hear me. Sometimes a person just needs someone else to listen.
I don’t need to tell you that the Christmas season is a busy time. But maybe this little post will help you remember to shhhhh from time to time so you can hear its message. Its message is peace.
Thanks for stopping by,
Arlee, Small Potatoes