I don’t want to
Thoughts & Reflections
We’ve recently returned from a break, and it’s a whole jumble of emotions. Some of us are thrilled to be back in the expected routine. Some of us would still rather be in our jammies. Some of us are happy to be back with friends, some wish it were still family play time. We feel relief, we feel a bit melancholy. Some of us feel all of this, in the course of fifteen minutes.
Whether it’s a Monday morning, or back from a holiday, or just a random Wednesday, we all have days we’d just rather not. Sometimes, these “just don’t wanna” days are strung together, and it can be tiring, or confusing, or concerning, especially if a child has joyfully bounded into school, adjusted beautifully to classroom life, comes home with stories of snack partners and new work mastered.
So, what’s going on?
We were chatting with a parent, who shared that mornings had been a bit trying of late. Why? Really?! THIS child? We’d never know! The child, let’s call her Jo, had been her usual self, happy, helpful, dedicated and joyful in her work and new discoveries.
Apparently getting out the door had been a struggle. Everything was a negotiation, from getting dressed to eating to getting in the car. We might have been privy to a cranky face or two, but not a change in behavior, and certainly no indication that this child didn’t love school.
We spoke with Jo, asked if she wanted to come sit. “I hear you haven’t been wanting to come to school.”
The tears welled on cue. She cuddled in. “I just want my mom.”
Nothing’s wrong. We can all empathize with this. I just want my Very Favorite Person. This feeling can be especially difficult when you’ve gained a certain level of awareness, and you realize, you like your time away from your Very Favorite Person, but you don’t like to be away from them.
Such a Have-Cake-Eat-Too moment. I want all my Favorites, all in one place. I want the joy of learning and of independence and of time with my friends, and I want those treasured valuable moments with my family, even when, to adults, it seems like “just” running errands. We know, even a trip to the grocery store is an adventure when you’re with the one you love.
We talked with Jo. “I think perhaps you like school.” Nod. “I think you like coming.” Nod. “I think it’s hard to say bye to your Mom.” Yup. “She knows that! No matter how far away you are, she will always love you! Maybe you could say, I like going to school, but I like time with you, too. What do you think?”
Jo nodded, “I love coming to school, but I love you too.” Ain’t that the truth? Nothing needs to be wrong, and it’s probably all going to settle in again. Whether it happens when you’re four, or when you go off to college, or at a sleepover, we experience that heartbreaking joy, that our love and our life encompasses more than it used to, and that each choice, even good ones, means saying no to something else. Don’t we all have moments when we wish we could be in more than one place, enjoying All Our Favorites?
Nothing’s wrong. There’s just an overflowing of Good.
Written by:Charlotte Wood