Dear Fellow Mom,
I have watched our two boys play together at school since the beginning of the year. From day one our children have gravitated towards each other. I remember being so nervous about sending my son to pre-school for the first time. The fear and apprehension that comes with letting your child out of the safety of your presence and supervision for the first time. I remember feeling such joy and relief when I picked him up after that first day and listened as he excitedly told me about his new friend. I was eager to meet you and your child and allow my smile to show my gratefulness that my son has found a new friend to make this big transition less scary.
At morning drop-off , I watch my child's face light up when your son walks in the classroom. At afternoon pick-up, my son walks towards me with shoulders slumped, head hung low, and eyes toward the ground. I ask how his day was and he tells me about his day with your son. He shares how his friend pushed him on the playground or how his friend wasn't nice to him in class. I listen, validate his feelings, and encourage him to use his strong voice to tell his friend how he feels.
I start to pay more attention at drop off and linger in the observation room each morning. From behind the one way glass of the observation room, I have seen my son's smile turn into a look of fear and powerlessness when he is physically overpowered by your son. I begin to arrive early in the afternoon to observe their time on the playground. I see our children's interaction and feel my child's pain. I also see you.
From behind the observation glass I see that same look of powerlessness on your face. The look that speaks I am doing the best I can but my child is not listening and I don't know what else to do. I see you drop your son off each morning and with love you kiss him goodbye. I see his nervous energy or how he clings to your leg sometimes. I see the look of worry and exhaustion on your face. With one child on your hip and your son clinging to your leg. I see your apprehension as you leave the room.
I see it because I know the look well as I have looked that way too. The exhaustion from transitioning from one child to two. The worry about if your son will have a good day. The apprehension you feel walking away and leaving him without your help and supervision. I see you because I am you. We are the same. We love our boys and want to help them through whatever tough time they are having. Whether the tough time is causing our child to act out behaviorally or whether the tough time is teaching our child how to assert himself when he is being mistreated. Each child is struggling and we want to fix their hurt. We want to understand them, teach them, and hope they make the choices we have instilled in them.
You see, you and I are the same. We want the same things. You and I are on the same team. We both want our boys to have friendships that are joyful, safe, and fun. We want them to have positive and appropriate social interactions with their peers. You want that for your son and I want that for mine. We want them to have this between each other. I believe you want that for your son and I hope you can believe me when I say that I want that for your son as well. I truly believe that each of us (child or adult) is doing the best we can with who we are and the resources we have in any given moment. Sometimes we just need a little extra time, resources, or help. It is okay to need that and it is okay to ask for it.
My fellow momma, I know our kids are doing the best they can in this moment. I know we are doing the best we can in this moment. I also know that our boys need our help. They need more time, tools, and resources. Which means we need each other's help. I need you and you need me. It's okay for us to need each other in order to help our boys. We are the same remember and we are in this together.
Now, what do you need from me? How can I help?