My teen was having a hard time recently and stormed around for a day and a half. Teens tend to be overly dramatic, so I thought letting him work through it was part of the process. But then it occurred to me that part of the drama was because he didn’t know how to react when faced with a problem. Was this the end of the world? Could he make it go away?
With age, comes perspective. I have lived through enough situations that I know I can fix my problems. I know the difference between a minor setback and a problem that is going to require more effort on my part. I can project what will probably happen if I ignore a problem and whether it will go away on its own or grow exponentially. A teen hasn’t grown that perspective.
I have a friend whose catchphrase is, “It’ll be okay. Everything will be okay.” I didn’t understand her need to say that until just now. As my teen seemed to be circling in a loop of angst, I realized he didn’t know it was going to be okay. It was fixable. I sat him down and told him it would be okay. We talked through the nuances of the problem until he realized it wasn’t so big after all. The pep talk on how capable he was helped to make it seem surmountable. I reminded him that he wasn’t alone. He didn’t need to worry by himself. If he needed help, he could rely on his parents.
To date, the problem has yet to be resolved. But we aren’t worried. It’s going to be okay.
I hate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. It just seems like an unsafe driving night/drunk fest followed by a day of refection/atonement/resolution-making. I never make resolutions. It seems like many people make them just to break them. When I make a promise, I keep it. For that reason alone, I don’t make many.
We do have a tradition in our small family. Each year, we collect pennies with that year’s date on them to add to our Christmas stocking. There is always a panic in December to locate shiny pennies with the current year’s date on them, but we have never missed a year. My husband and I tease that we are going for the whole roll, or fifty pennies. To date, we have 35 pennies. It is a long time to be married. We are blessed. We started a penny stocking when our son was born and now he joins in the tradition as well.
As we add the pennies, we always spend a short moment talking about something special about that person or something significant that happened during the year. When we put away the stockings, it ensures that they are never empty. It’s a simple, inexpensive tradition. Maybe it’s a way to let go of the old year and bring in the new. I guess we just have to do things our own way.