Recently I was able to spend the holiday with my favorite 3 year old, and well, one of my favorite people ever, my nephew Jonathan.
Wife generous gift giver: helicopter ball toy complete with lights, and a laser, it flys around the room and if/when it inevetlabuy bumps into something it automatically shuts off.
Off/On Off/on Jonathan would scream in delight as I reset this toy to continue playing.
great but for every 6 minutes of playing time, we needed to plug it back in for… about (in a 3 Y/o’s eyes) Eternity, but to us normal human beings, about 15 minutes.
Jonathn is 99% of the time, the nicist, most well adjusted delightful little guy an uncle could ever ask for. My brother/sister in law: crushing it as parents. They deserve a medal….. actually all parents deserve a medal or a trophy or an all expense paid vacation without kids or something.
Anyway. We plugged in the helicopter.
waiting for eternity caused as you might have guessed, a complete meltdown.
Instantly, Raw unfitered disgust frustration impatience, “I want it my way now” then collapse in a mush of tears and limp boneless flesh on the floor.
As a kid, these reactions these raw emotions are normal, part of the childhood experience but as adults, we’re expected to lock it up. Show no emotion Remain stock, unchanged by the events of the world around us.
The truth is that I feel just like jonathan sometimes when I don’t get my way. I know it’s silly, and thats just the way the world works but I’m still really upset by it.
Jonathan knew in his head that the toy needed to be charged every few minutes but that didn’t change the fact that his heart hurt when things didn’t shake out the way he wanted them to go.
when pulling this limp pile of tears and face juices into my arms, holding his exaugsted quiver body against mine, I knew what he was feeling. because I feel it too. That same overwhelmed, exoughsted anxiety that grips my whole being. I know it too. I feel it just as often as he does. only I’m expected to keep it all together.
When health insurance costs me a week’s salary, when my hours are getting cut, when no-one wants to buy my product, when I can’t seem to communicate with my wife, when political parties are crumbling around me, when the furness goes out and we max out the credit card, when my parents get sick
all I want to do is crumple to the floor in a motionless pile of sniffles and choppy breaths.
I held him In my arms and tell him I get it. Life is hard sometimes. I don’t always get what I want either. I love you buddy. I’ve got you. I know I know
I love you.
Growing up is all about those hard moments. Getting short changed or beaten down by the world. We all have em, some people’s problems are WAY bigger than others, so many people have it way worse than me! But weither its a toy helacopter, a health care bill, a lost job or a lost loved one.
That hurt. Pain is universal.
The best of us seem to have felt it all too real, it has molded them shaped them in to the men and women who are there for the rest of us, holding us close, reminding us that I get it. Life is hard sometimes. I don’t always get what I want either. I love you buddy. I’ve got you. I know I know
I love you.