On the way home from school, my son expresses his struggle dealing with our present reality. I give a 2-minute inspirational talk which to him must have sounded like so much blah, blah, blahdy blah blah. The same kind of things dogs and cats hear as we pour out our souls to them. They are such great listeners. Given that pets understand words like food, sit, roll-over, fetch, walk, those deep talks we sometimes have with them wash over them like a breeze. They are great listeners because of their dependence on us not because they understand the words but because they understand our hearts.
I hope my son understood mine. I gave it my best shot at motivational eloquence.
“How was your day?” I ask my son as we walk to the car.
“Ah, it was boring,” he says with a voice loaded with dramatic sadness.
“What’s bothering you?” I say, because I know there is more on his mind.
“Ah, what’s happening at home. . . (pause.) . .with the house. I’m tired of being poor.” he says with a voice that almost drips tears.
Mentally, I start spraying the sadness repellant and reply.
“I know it’s tough but it doesn’t have to ruin our lives,” I say.
I can tell by his posture he isn’t convinced. We navigate the parking lot and make our way home. I feel that I must try again to pull him out of his funk.
“It’s not going to be fun to seriously downsize. I can’t tell you exactly what will happen and when. We can chose to be broken by this and become bitter and angry at the world or we can try to see this as an opportunity. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you it’s going to be easy. We need to start thinking of this as a new beginning. We need to let this carve out compassion in our hearts so that we can really know and feel for others. We can let this destroy us or we can become stronger and we can use our experience for something good and much bigger than ourselves. Think of this as a great and terrible adventure. “
I look over at him. Even his hair is sad. He wipes a few tears from his eyes. I need to let him have his sadness. There are things I can’t fix. I have to let it be.
My words are so much blah, blah, blah. For a brief moment, I feel the power in them. Life is a great and terrible adventure and so are many moments and chapters. I have to let them be.