Sometimes life doesn’t quite go to plan. And sometimes that’s an understatement. Today was a day that could go either way – work on the whole was enjoyable but Katie came home from school in tears.
Challenged by Caroline’s post from yesterday – on Optimistic October – I didn’t expect to be tested quite so soon. She had faced two difficulties at school, firstly she hadn’t been assigned to her preferred choice of club and secondly, some other children in the class had said girls can’t play football.
My initial reaction had been to encourage her to just have a thicker skin. After all, we don’t get what we want all the time and in reality, she isn’t very good at football. Whilst I’m wary of gender stereotypes and small children perpetuating them – I could count the number of times she’s played football on one hand. Funnily enough, if you don’t practice then you’re not that good.
Whilst I don’t think that reaction would have necessarily been ‘wrong’ as such… I’m glad I didn’t go with it.
Recently, we’ve lost a very dear friend to us who brought so much warmth to any room he entered. I felt blessed to spend time with his wife earlier this week and to hear how much outpouring of love she’s experienced in the last few days. Whilst grief is a raw, hideous thing… I was in awe of how she also was able to find gratitude and to reflect on how they lived and made the most of each moment.
So rather than encourage Katie to move on from her sadness, but equally not dwelling on it. I thought that instead we should celebrate other things.
Whilst Katie was out at swimming, her brothers leapt into action setting the table and cooking her favourite dinner whilst I shot to the shop and bought her a huge bunch of sunflowers and a caterpillar cake. Instead of coming home to routine, she arrived back to a celebration just ‘because.’
It might sound ‘cringey’ but dinner became a conversation about the good things of the day. For Ben, it was a chat about cycling with a chemistry teacher. Thomas told us of his imaginary world he had created with his friend Bryce. Whilst Katie didn’t talk about any of the things that upset her, but focused on how much she enjoyed playing on Mike’s computer at work after school.
I don’t ever want to discount her worries or to not help her cope with life. But tonight, I’m signing off to go watch Bake Off on catch up.