Tuesday, November 30, 2021

It's OK To Be Sad

Our refrigerator broke. There was some drama with the repair guy making it worse before he made it better, and in the mix a lot of our food spoiled and needed to be thrown out. This rigmarole was annoying for Elizabeth and Chris, as expected. What we weren't quite prepared for was the emotional explosion coming from Everett.

"Will all the food be ruined?"

"Yes, all the food that needs to be kept cold to be safe got too warm."

"Even the ice cream? Even the WAFFLES?"

As tears rolled down his cheeks, Elizabeth hugged him. We are so trained to downplay sadness and explain it away. 

"We can buy new food."

And yes, we did say that. We can buy more ice cream. That isn't all we did though - we acknowledged the sadness. First Elizabeth hugged Everett, then Chris. We talked about how it was frustrating and sad that so much food was going to waste. Yes, we could buy more, but it was wasteful and we don't like being wasteful.

Hiking at Obie's Bench - Uvas Canyon County Park - November 26, 2021

Just like any human, Everett's outburst wasn't probably solely because of the refrigerator woes. This month is Oberon's birthday, so there's a lot of talk about him and special hikes and birthday cake. Everett and Imogen both loved wearing their special Obie's Bees shirts. Imogen was especially concerned about them being washed so we could all wear them both on Obie's Birthday and on the hike to his bench.

Making birthday cake! - Obie's Bee Day - November 24, 2021

There's also the persistent grind of "germ time" (as we call the COVID-19 pandemic). We are still not doing any indoor activities or play dates, not flying to Michigan for the holidays, and wearing masks a lot. Things get cancelled because someone gets the sniffles. 

Masked up to tour JrK - November 6, 2021

It's OK to be sad about all of it. The big things and the little things. Yes, sometimes our emotional reaction is misaligned to reality and a straightening out can help (such as thinking we can never get ice cream again). Sometimes, we just need to feel sad. And that has to be OK. We can sit in the sadness ourselves, or help support a friend by sitting in their sadness with them. Without trying to fix it. Without claiming it's all OK because.

Recently we've comforted Everett about a rubber band instrument that broke, Imogen about forgetting her baby doll on an outing, and Adelaide after a flu shot. With the older two, we ask if a hug will help. It almost always does. It doesn't fix everything, but it's a good starting point. 

Returned to where we took family pictures and recreated some with Ensela (Imogen's baby doll) - November 6, 2021

P.S. Adelaide can full-on crawl now, is pulling herself up to standing, and we're doing baby-led weaning (it's awesome, but messy!). 

P.P.S. Imogen loves preschool and wants to practice sight words. 

P.P.P.S. Everett is becoming a voracious reader both to himself and out loud. Plus, vaccination super powers!

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