Breast Cancer, Life & Parenting

High-Five Moments

(Just getting around to publishing this one, which was written mid-January of this year. When I’m pretty sure none of us had enough vitamin D to deal with being cooped up with each other or life in general. Hello summer, I’ve missed you…)

Maybe I read it somewhere? Maybe it was that magical high-five on the day before chemo. But regardless, high-five’s have somewhat become our milestone markers in our household.

Yesterday was not one of our finest moments. The day as a whole wasn’t bad. But we were all tired, running errands, kids annoyed with each other. We all lost our collective shit at different moments. It was just, simply, “one of those days.” My kids are not bad people. I am not a bad person. We do, however, have bad moments. Where the temper flares because we have just had all we can take in that day or moment. Or the angst gets to you. Or you are exhausted. Or your head is so full, that you simply cannot deal with what your kids are dealing with that day. And that’s hard. Because that’s the very moment parenting guilt kicks in. You know you need to be there for them, but holy hell, you just need a freaking moment to think. You know, like a quiet moment with some hot chocolate, a cozy blanket and a good book. Yeah, that’s so not going to happen.

But we talked. We got through it. Maybe not with the most grace. But there was grace and forgiveness at the end of the day. And the way we reached that point – talking with each other. Not at each other. With. Hearing what each other had to say and listening. (possibly a stern lecture by me to kick-start the conversation). Not a lot of joy in that part of it though… BUT we all learned a little something about each other. Our conversation led to a discussion on compassion. And what what compassion means for each of us. How to be compassionate when one of us is having a “less than stellar day.” How sometimes that means giving space to someone and sometimes that means comforting. About tempers flaring. I learn a lesson on that every. single. day. We are good people, but we can all run a little hot sometimes. Sometimes we are overwhelmed and have lost our mental capacity to breathe and let our tempers fall. Some of us are learning the fine art of being able to express ourselves, not just put our feelings in a box, while also not losing our shit all over the person sitting next to you. You know, taking out your frustration on the person sitting next to you because, well, they are sitting next to you. If that person is truly being a turd? Well, we are learning how to handle that too.

How does a high-five play in? Because surely this day wasn’t a high-five moment? Life is hard. Parenting is hard. We hit milestones that sometimes we don’t want to hit. Like when your kid says the dreaded “I hate you” for the first time?

Right, that milestone…

Know how we handled it? Smile and high-five them. “Right on! First time you said, ‘I hate you.’ Total milestone moment!” They might have been less than pleased (and it may or may not have been the best way to handle it), but it sure did diffuse the “hate”. After a surprised reaction, there was a brief smile (maybe a smirk, not sure these days). But they knew we didn’t hate them. And I think, they probably understood that we know they don’t hate us. But it led to us talking about hate and our words and how words really can hurt. And also how to handle it when someone is mean to you. Which, we are ALL still working on and learning more. Pretty sure we are always learning more on that one…

Good gravy, the learning.

But that’s the thing right? We are learning. Continually learning. The wisdom is that you don’t get to a certain age where you have learned it all (or how to keep it all boxed in, ahem…). You learn that you need to keep learning. That you need to be open to learning. And that learning doesn’t necessarily have to come from a book. That learning can be about your soul. Your heart. Your compassion. Your strength. There’s vulnerability in admitting that you are continually learning.

So high-five today. Whatever it brings. Maybe it’s not be the best day ever, it may quite frankly be a crappy day. But there’s lessons to learn on the crappy days too. Because those are the lessons on the crappy days are what help us to enjoy the good days all the more.

Much love and high-five friends!
Shannon

The original and still (so freaking surreal) high-five moment that makes all the other high-five moments somewhat magical – http://shannoncox.net/2015/03/the-high-five/

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