A Note to Parents from TCCC Director Kristen OSullivan

Dear Parents,

I hope this finds you well. Or well enough considering. Please know you are doing enough. There is enough newness going on in every home that it is going to be a challenge, no matter what. Now IS the time to slow the pace, look deeply into today’s activity, and be present. Children everywhere are experiencing the same lack of routine, lack of academics, lack of socialization. So there is not a hill for them to slide down. It’s a level, inclusive field. Teachers will meet the children where they are. It will be ok.

Your children need your love, joy, and company. Be mindful to show delight on your face when they walk in the room, even if frustration or defeat is the reality. Fake it if you have to because they will remember how you felt. How your expressions and tone made them feel. Not the letters you practiced after breakfast, the dishwasher yet to be emptied (again), or the laundry forgotten in the washer (again).

…For tomorrow shall care for itself.

Struggle is universal. We all have bad: days, moments, meetings, failures, bedtimes, car rides, heartbreak, workouts, and illness. Every single one of us has a story. And no one gets out of life scot-free without the struggle. Two things: do not Compare Your Struggles and sometimes the best thing you can do is Compare Your Struggles. Here’s what I mean.

Daily bad days, pain, trials, and disappointments loom. For you, today may be one of the darkest hours or the deepest of melancholy. So go ahead, wallow in it. Wrap yourself up in it and live it. For two minutes a day.

Yep, all you get is two minutes each day. Scream, cry, whine, or kick people in the shin. Make these two minutes count. Go ahead and make some noise. Because you get two minutes and then you are done. Then it is time to move on and put a pin in it for tomorrow. Tomorrow if the pain is still there–go ahead; wallow in it. Wrap yourself up in it. For two minutes. 

And when the two minute timer goes off and you can’t stop the despair? If once the tears start, you can’t turn it off? Well, then it is actually time to compare. It is time to look over at the Joneses or toward the greener grasses and consider their two minutes. Have they lost a loved one? Are their children hungry or hurting? Are they alone? Are they at risk simply doing their job? Is their pain irreparable? Consider another, saying two prayers. One for others and one of gratitude. Then put a pin in til tomorrow. 

I know it’s not easy. But it is possible. Moving on daily may be tiny, but it’s a huge step you have to retake everyday. In this pandemic, you deserve your two minutes, to scream, cry, whine, or kick people in the shin. Allow it and then regard the two minutes of others. You will find humility and grace recognizing we all have bad: days, moments, meetings, failures, bedtimes, car rides, heartbreak, workouts, and illness. Your prayers for tomorrow are always at hand, but worry is wasted. 

Care not then for tomorrow. For tomorrow shall care for itself. The day has enough with its own grief. Matthew 6:34