I am not going to lie. I am a bit of an emotional mess this morning. A mixture of sadness, excitement, relief of going back to some sort of normal and most of all so much pride.
It was in my 20s that I first felt such polarity in my emotions. How is it possible to feel such sadness in my heart and at the same time so much excitement about what lay ahead. I was 24 and about to fly to live in the United States for a year. Sadness for leaving my loved ones behind and excitement for all the new places I will see and all the new people I will meet. What I learnt was we need to feel ALL the feels in order to feel better and get into our best state of mind.
This morning’s feels were all about my youngest going back to school after 9 weeks of isolation (counting the school holidays). We barely saw any of his friends, we muddled thru schooling online, we learnt a lot about our learning styles, likes and dislikes of subjects. We had our eyes open to the skills we already had – especially his resilience and ability to adapt so quickly. We did not even have an iPad 6 months ago, and he now knows how to sign into virtual conferencing all on his own. He has evolved in so many ways. Emotionally, he is able to communicate his needs and tell us what he is thinking or wants even more so than before.
Now don’t get me wrong. He has had outbursts of frustration and anger. This is normal. In fact, I encourage us to feel the feels and work thru them. What are emotions attempting to tell us? They are the compass of what we need to pay attention to in our life. Especially if something does not feel so great, what needs to change in order for us to be in our optimum state?! The important part is to talk about why we are feeling the way that we are and rectifying any problems that are bringing on the negative feelings.
This is a time when children may be confused and scared. Only 2 months ago, we feared this virus that seemed to be killing everyone. Now it is ok to be at school and be around loads of people again. Plus I just found out, playgrounds have been opened up again. Heck, the adults are even confused. In my opinion, it is imperative we talk to our children about how we feel. Admit what we don’t know. If you are scared share that with your child and let them know what strategies you are using to cope, or even better, come up with strategies to cope together. Practice it together, hold each other accountable. Afterall, our children model our behaviour regardless, so why not talk them thru it and show them how to navigate this topsy turvy time?
Feeling a range of emotions is normal. Especially in our current times. Today for me, my emotions are similar to when he first started school. I miss him, I am so excited about his excitement, I love his innocence and I am taken back by it, I am overwhelmed, I am cautious, I am relieved, I am all of these things and more.
If I learnt anything during this pandemic so far it is to take each moment as it comes and feel the feels. And I am so grateful to know his teacher has got this and we are in it together. And if tomorrow something else comes up and changes, we will just do our best to flow with it and feel all the feels that come up.