When all was said and done, life happened the way it was supposed to. God knew exactly what he was doing and our family has been blessed beyond measure. But that doesn’t mean the move was without its lumps and bumps and bruises. In fact, one of my biggest ‘parent fails’ took place during this move.Zach was six and just getting ready to enter first grade. Now when I say ‘just getting ready’, I’m not exaggerating. We arrived in Rolla on Saturday evening and the school year started on Monday. And if that wasn’t enough upheaval for a six year-old, our house/farm were far from being ready to occupy, so we spent the first six weeks living out of suitcases with Granny.
Spending so much time with Granny wasn’t the problem, though. The problem was that not having our own home right away meant that in addition to leaving his home and his friends, Zach also had to leave behind our dog, Maggie and his pony, Casey.So where does the ‘parent fail’ come in with all of this? Glad you asked. We were so focused on getting the house ready to live in and John had a lot going on in transitioning into his new position that we did not give Zach’s feelings the compassion and TLC they deserved…or that he needed.
I remember even talking to him about the fact that we had sold all our livestock knowing it wasn’t feasible to bring them—saying we would start over when fences were in place, barns were repaired, and so on. As if Maggie and Casey were not more important than cows in a field that could easily be replaced! Talk about a few BAD mom moments! Ouch!Nothing could change the fact that it simply wasn’t possible to bring Maggie and Casey with us. But I could have handled it a whole lot better than I did.
I’d like to be able to tell you that was the only bad mom moment I had. But I can’t—not truthfully, anyway. What I can say, however, is that from this experience I learned that the feelings of little people matter—they matter a lot. What seems like a little thing to you and I can be breaking their little hearts into a million pieces. As parents we need to take their feelings seriously--making them our own and treat them with the love and care they deserve.So please, never laugh at your child’s feelings, never tell them it’s ‘no big deal’ or that they need to ‘just get over it’. Listen to them, let them share what is on their heart, let them cry, let them be angry and then talk with them about how to make the situation better.