She dipped another bite of chicken in ketchup, and stared out the window.
I could see she was contemplating something, but I asked, “Are you going to take that bite?”
She put the fork down and got off her stool. Then, in uncharacteristic fashion, she picked up the stool and slammed it on the floor five times. She sat back down and said, “There!”
I looked at Will to gauge his reaction. This wasn’t like Jenny at all.
“Um, Jen… what was that about?”
“I’m just frustrated with dad. I’m tired of crying. Eight year old girls shouldn’t pout, it’s embarrassing, so I figured I’d slam my stool a few times. I do feel a little better, except look at all the junk on the floor from slamming the stool. Sorry about that.”
I could have launched into another of my “motivating” talks about how feelings are important.
- It’s good to talk about it.
- I know how you feel.
- What’s the funny part of this story?
- Do you really want to be in a funk right now?
- Let’s choose a new attitude.
blah blah blah blah blah
I’m tired of hearing myself say the same things over and over again. I have to think they are tired of hearing the same things, too.
So I acknowledged her frustrations. I let her calm herself down. I think I said something wise like, “That sucks, doesn’t it?”
We finished dinner and went outside to skateboard, draw on the sidewalk with chalk, laugh at the cat and walk the hill.
The next morning we eased into home school in our most favorite way – I read a couple chapters to them.
This is the pearl we uncovered that morning:“… your pain, like all you feel, is great. Yet I fear that instead of stepping through your pain, as you and I have stepped through many a marsh, you have let it cling to you, like the blood-thirsty tick that rides our backs for months on end.” —Eremon, the stag
an excerpt from T.A. Barron’s book, The Fires of Merlin
Therein lies the power in storytelling.