My daughter had a melt down at school today. I was enjoying my day off by blogging on the beach when I got the phone call from her teacher.
I could hear her crying and screaming in the background. I could tell from the quality of the screams that there was no talking any sense into her. “I’m on my way” I told her teacher. When I got to the school she was sad but not screaming which was an improvement.
After some hugs we loaded up into the car and I took a mental inventory of what I had in the car with me. It had finally stopped raining here in Florida. Pretty sure it was the first sun we’d seen in close to 2 weeks. It was beautiful out and I decided right then and there, lets go to the beach. I didn’t have my beach bathing suit. I had a really old swim team suit that I’m pretty sure was see through in some spots, saggy in other spots, and had absolutely no padding (nipples, say hello to the world – your welcome). My legs hadn’t been shaved. The towels in my car were mostly clean. Somehow I had a bathing suit for my daughter in the car which is one of the advantages of having a messy car. In short, there were lots of reasons we could have just called it a day and gone home. This wasn’t on my to do list today but there was a space here, right in that moment when I got to decide what to do and how to feel about the situation that had presented itself to me.
I could be bummed and resentful that my retirement day practice had gotten cut short, I could be embarrassed and triggered that I had gotten a call from the teacher at school because my daughter was losing her sh*t, or I could be grateful and take advantage of this extra free time with my kiddo that seemed to be needing some help. In the space between the moments I decided, when life gives you lemons, take the lemons to the beach.
And I’m so thankful I did. We had a fantastic time! As we sat in the water letting it wash over us and roll us around I could feel a weight lift from my little one. She’d had a hard day and wasn’t her best. And while we don’t encourage outbursts and will talk about what we can do about that later, right here, right now, this is what she needed. I looked down at her happy face and told her that the ocean will always be here to wash her bad feelings away. She nodded and beamed back at me and my heart just about broke for this girl of mine. In that moment I felt so grateful that I chose well, that I chose love, I chose connection, that I chose fun over all else.
The space between the moments is key. As small as that space is, it exists, you just have to learn to take advantage of it. Happiness is a choice. This is life changing work we do. You got this.