My three youngest kids are at a swim meet on Long Island this weekend, and I am not with them.
I have never missed a travel meet with the kids.
But for a bunch of different reasons I stayed home.
I cried for a very long time the day I decided I was going to stay home this weekend and not go to the meet.
All the kids were disappointed that I wouldn’t be there.
One of them called me tonight, hysterically crying.
There wouldn’t have been any crying tonight if I had been there.
It was really, really hard to listen to one of the kids being so upset. Understandably upset.
But not going to the meet this weekend was the right decision.
I know this upset won’t last forever.
I know they need to practice being disappointed.
But even if what’s happening right now is not going to totally scar the kids for life, it’s still really hard to listen to.
I’d definitely rather be upset myself than watch/listen to/see my kids be upset and not be able to do anything to make them feel better.
But that’s probably the biggest life skill we need to master.
Navigating hard stuff on our own. Seeing and accepting people for who they truly are. Setting boundaries and advocating for what we want and what we need. Realizing that you can’t make people treat you in a way you deserve to be treated. That sometimes people can be pretty shitty and that has nothing to do with you.
One of the biggest parenting skills to master is letting your kids feel like shit sometimes.
But it’s necessary.
I’m getting better at it but I really don’t like it.
I know the kids will be okay. So will I.
On Monday when they are home, this weekend will be in the past and everyone will have more perspective.
The big feelings will have eased.
And we will all have learned a little bit from it.
That’s how we grow.
I just wish sometimes we didn’t have to.