At Least for Today

He had those big tears in the corner of his eyes when I picked him up from school. I could see him there across the courtyard, not talking to his friends. His eyes focused straight down. I knew he was just waiting until I walked up until he let them flow. He was waiting until he felt safe.

His "crystal" was taken. This beautiful quartz rock he was given a few weeks ago when we were out hiking. He wanted to take it to school. We talked about the fact that it might get lost, taken, or borrowed. That it might be safer to leave it with me. He decided to take it anyway. He must have been playing with it when he shouldn't have and the teacher's aid took it and forgot to give it back before she left. He. Was. Devastated. He melted into my arms as the tears got bigger and his whole body shook.

I have to admit, these situations don't play to my strengths. I have to force myself to be as empathetic as he needs in these moments. I hate that I'm not naturally the most understanding when it comes to lost rocks but it's on my radar and I'm trying hard to make it right. Some days, I'm trying to figure out if there's another reason bubbling underneath this meltdown. Sometimes that hinders my ability to be a good mom to my very sensitive kiddo. Today, today was all about that rock. He needed me.

I bent down to wipe his tears. I started to talk about this morning and the conversation about the rock and possibly losing it. I stopped myself. He just wanted to be heard. He just wanted to know that I cared about him being upset regardless that he was responsible. He just wanted his mom. His not-so-always-sensitive mom to let him feel safe enough to meltdown over a rock. He sobbed. He cried. He even wailed for a few minutes. I didn't try to distract him this time. I told him I was sorry it was gone and that I'll ask for it back Monday morning. He hugged me tight. Wrapped his little arms around my soft tummy. He squeezed.

Eventually, like always, he calmed down. I don't know what he'll remember from this when he's grown or if he'll remember it at all. But today. At least for this day. He felt safe and important and heard.