Updated: Jul 22, 2019
“Mom, (tears and sobs) can you come get me?” “Mom, I am panicking.” “Mom, I don’t know if I can stay here.” I often knew minutes before I got these phone calls and texts that they were coming. (That will be another blog.) My stomach dropped with each call and text.
With each call there was discernment on my part. Could she stay at school or should I pick her up? Sometimes I chose the right option…sometimes not. If not, I would then get a call from the school counselor, Mrs. Ashton. She is caring and really great at her job. Unfortunately the calls were not tell me how well Riely was doing! Between these “rescues” and picking up Riely for therapy appointments I almost felt like a part time student. The logical mind says to make the appointments after school! Well, they aren’t always available and Marching Band practice after school was her one “happy place.” The members in her band section offered tremendous support.
I dreaded having to go into the school and say once more, “I am here to pick up Riely.”My stomach would get knotted as I drove into the parking lot! At the same time, it was important that these emotions were not expressed to Riely. I don’t think she enjoyed these pick-ups much either. I don’t want to give Attendance Clerks a bad rap, but most of them scare me! (And I learned from Mrs. Ashton that they scare her to!)The “no bullying” policy should apply to them! For the most part they have made me feel like a sub-par parent for having the audacity to take my child out of school for any reason. With the onset of Riely’s depression came encounters with the… Attendance Clerk!
Little did I know that I would be blessed with an Attendance Clerk Angel! Mrs. Prior’s imprint is forever on my heart. She greeted me with a smile each and every time I appeared. Mrs. Prior acted like it was the most natural thing in the world to pick up a child a few times a week or once a week or however often I was there! She even asked me “which one are you picking up today?” I love that she didn’t want to make assumptions. Although deep down I’m sure she knew. Mrs. Prior made a gut-wrenching task more bearable by her grace and compassion! I mentioned this to her one day. She replied that kids go through rough times. Mrs. Prior said there is joy in watching them through the years as they gain confidence and come into their own. I have a feeling she knows that parents go through rough times too! She is a lady with great compassion! She gifted me! I hope I can pass her gift on to others!
I do believe that the gentleness that Mrs. Prior exhibited allowed me to eventually extend that same grace to myself. She wasn’t judging my actions or Riely’s either. She simply accepted things for what they were, with kindness! WOW! What if I lived into what she offered me? I would then be gentle with myself, with Riely, and extend that to others I encounter. No need to judge or make someone feel “less than.” YES! I want that!
I am trying to practice gentleness with myself and with others. Shifting from words like, “I should have” to “I wish I had, maybe next time” are small steps in self-compassion. I try to shift from thoughts of “they ought to be doing…” or ‘if I were them” to the thoughts “they are doing what they can” or “I have no idea what they are going through.”
Just wondering…could this be a natural wrinkle fighter? Less scowling and all?
What are ways that you treat yourself with kindness? How do you stop yourself from negative impact thoughts and words?