We’ve entered into uncharted territory. A time when a prevailing situation is new for each and everyone of us. I invite us today, to look with these new eyes at unresolved issues; to pay more attention to them and stay open to seeing them in a different way.
As parents, many will remember experiencing the world through the excited eyes of a newborn and maintaining that eagerness with them as they moved to explore an ever-expanding world.
Some parents separated down the road. As their children see them lashing out at one another it’s not always easy to convince them that, ‘while daddy hates mommy and mommy hates daddy, they both love you.’ Especially when a child knows that she or he is a part of each.
I reference a chapter in the novel Advent where we’re taken into Sonia’s office and she’s speaking with parents about the trouble their child has been getting into at school.
The negative impact of the divorce being acted out between the couple, they struggle to move beyond their encrusted feelings for one another. It is the dedicated energy and patience of Sonia that gets them to loosen their anger and re-join their focus on a child they had together; to do what needs to be done.
In the face of Covid19 as families work to adhere to the guides for safety and wellness, a set of parents that I coach separately, as they still work through their issues, now argues about whether the weekends with dad do or do not play interference with self isolation.
One can only imagine the stress this puts on the child, and the added strain on combined families, where both partners could be faced with similar challenge. That safety must be placed ahead of the couple’s need to win the war between them, should go without saying. But the couple, as many, has temporarily lost sight.
In the mediation, Sonia does manage to get the parents to talk to one another. The story goes on to follow the degree of transformation that begins with that single step of a child seeing his parents speak to one another civilly, and that it has been because of him.
A mother’s wish is that her children be physically and mentally healthy and grow up to be independent and live happy lives. That hope is what most mothers will be thinking about today, and ways for keeping the hope nourished.
I ask us all to keep an attentive eye out for families we know who are struggling; consider reaching out to lend an ear, to give a word in kindness, extend a virtual hug.
At a time where young people are missing the contact with their friends, our kids need us more than ever. It calls us to become more vigilant, to be the village that guides them through their altered environment. To put them ahead of ourselves, as we are being reminded that we are the adults with custody for shaping their worldview.