Let's say your best friend was upset, or your spouse, really upset. Crying. Scared. Needed you for comfort or solace.
Well, I am willing to bet you would be there. You would offer a hug or a shoulder or an ear.
This is what we do, right? As mothers, as friends, as human beings we help those we love. We even help those we do not know or love. We are charitable, we are giving, we are compassionate.
This quote is one I always think of when I think of our actions in everyday life.
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." - Dalai Lama
Now here is where my head spins. This is what stabs me in the stomach and makes my heart sink.
I read a story last week about a little girl starting kindergarten. In fact I read a few stories about the scary first day, the crying at drop off (by both parent and child), the sad faces at recess and the crying during class.
I think it's common because well meaning commenters respond by offering encouragement and their own stories of the first dreadful week of school. They urged the parents to press on because this is normal and part of growing up.
They assure that the five year old needs to cry and face her fears because life is hard and there is no need to shelter or coddle the child. Did you read that? We are talking about a five year old!
In the attempt to not tick anyone off I have tried to put myself in their shoes. I know that not every family can home school or would even want to home school. I also realize that a parent might not be able to drop everything to run to a school and comfort their child. I know this. I accept this.
What I do not accept is the belief that a child must be hardened or that a child must learn at this early an age that life is tough and to deal with it all. I reject this notion that it's okay to comfort a close friend but not our own children when the going gets tough.
A best friend called me last week venting about her toddler who has decided to wake up screaming during the night. She's tried most everything you can imagine to get her baby back to sleep to no avail. She even tried letting her cry it out but after a considerably long time she could no longer stand to hear her child suffer. You see my friend has a mama' heart. She has a strong mothering instinct that her child is needing her. She was advised by many well meaning friends that her child, her baby, is manipulating her and the answer is to just let her scream until she stops. It came to no surprise to either of us that her baby calms down once she is in her arms.
Would we treat our adult friends and family this way? Ignore their needs and force them to comfort themselves?
Again, I reject this idea that a baby must learn to sooth itself. What the heck are we mothers for? I don't recall ever seeing an official job description but I am positive that we are here to comfort our children.
We are to some extent a society that hardens the child and coddles the adult. I think it could explain some of our societal problems, but that's just my opinion. I have no degree in parenting or sociology or even psychology.
What I do have are 7 attachment parent raised kids who are stable, social, confident, smart and above all else......kind.
Here's to a new school year at home and an always available hug!