Transitions in life are tough. It is leaving what you know and are comfortable with and heading into something or place that is new. Transitions can also involve a lot of heartfelt emotions. I know I do not deal well with good bye’s or the “lasts” of anything. You know the last day of vacation, the last day before someone has to leave….you get the idea.
But for our children, dealing with and working through these transitions can be some hard work.
I saw the beginnings of stress in Elizabeth about three weeks ago. Just some sharp tones to me when I asked some simple questions (yes, truly, I was innocent in this one)..I sort of let it go, I chalked it up to some teenage moments. But then came the difficulty in getting to sleep and then came the king of all signs of stress…THE STRAIGHTENING ..of all things not glued down. This sign has become so well known in our family. Elizabeth will fix/move or straighten anything that is on counters, the island or a table. It does not matter if the item in question belongs to her, she will move it or rearrange it.
Having said this, when asked how she is doing, I still got very little in response, usually an “I’m okay” Now truth be told, our world has become so busy with a graduating senior. There are banquets and parties, plans to be made and events to attend. So we found ourselves very involved in all this. I found I wanted very much to accept the answer she was giving..but then I thought more about her.
I realized that we are in a state of transition for the above reason, but SHE is in an even bigger one because she is leaving middle school, heading to high school, saying goodbye to beloved teachers she has had for four years, seeing her sister and best friend graduate and make plans for college. WOW that is a lot. So while we focused on the senior moving on, we needed to add to our focus our soon to be high schooler as well.
Our children need extra help to talk through and deal with their feelings. Elizabeth and I have talked countless times about feelings and how they are all okay but it is what you do with them that counts. Like when you are mad, you DO NOT throw your head back and yell, but you do talk and or walk away to calm down. We have been talking about feelings since she was about 8 years old. She knows that talking about things is important but we as parents need to be aware that the talking time is needed. I was a bit late in this realization this time. But once we realized what she might be feeling we talked, and talked and then Emily talked to her. We hugged her and Elizabeth cried for nothing and everything at the same time. I am happy we could help her start to deal with her new feelings.
Are we done? No, there will be many more conversations to come. Is she okay now? Yes, she seems calmer and the items on the counters are staying where we originally put them. Our talking and guiding of our children really never stops but I pray that we, as parents of these special children will always be blessed with the ability to know when we need to talk to our children, to know when the signs of a crisis are there.
Transitions are hard, I know that it is expected of me to act in a certain manner, to not cry on the last day of vacation, or when the bus scoops up my children on the first day of school, no we as adults have learned the appropriate ways to act. It is up to us to help our children learn these appropriate ways also. But to know when to talk, when to really let their feelings out. This is one of our hard jobs. But knowing that we are there for our special children in the best way we can be is all we can ask of ourselves. Our jobs are ever-evolving. Blessings to you all for a good week.