You know how a lot of people pick a word at the beginning of the year? Like “strength” or “faith?”
They put it on a bracelet, they write very long captions about it, they paint it on a cheesy sign to hang over their dining room table… and for so long, I have made fun of them. Until, I found a word that actually meant something to me.
It was last November, I was babysitting. I had babysat this family countless times before, but the kids still saw me as the enemy, and putting the two year old to bed? Well, that was a full on WAR. I had learned that the best way to do it was to put her in her bed, read her fav book and walk out. Her mom always said she would cry for about 15 minutes and then fall asleep. This had worked before, but that night, she wouldn’t even get in her bed. This little 2 year old girl, was thrashing around on the floor, half dressed in her pajamas and all I could think was “I just want my mom.” In the heat of the moment, all I wanted was for her to be quiet. Then she quieted down for a split second and just whimpered “I want my mom.” That phrase hit me like a spring breeze. Both of us wanted to be somewhere else with different people, but we weren’t somewhere else, we were with each other and all I could be was gentle.
I’ve thought about that night a lot since then, how all I can do is sit in this moment and feel it. And the best thing I can be- for myself and everyone else- is gentle.