I heard my son say the other day to his girlfriend, “I must get my lack of emotion from my mother.” HA!!!!!! What makes him think I lack emotion? I recognize and have been told by many people that I tend to be very calm in situations where most people would have popped a cork, blown a gasket, or just cursed another person clean out of their socks. I guess I am just not that person who is always dialed in looking for a situation to create hostility. Emotions? Oh, I have emotions where they are most warranted.
Let me clarify that I will make light of a tense situation. In my thoughts, the lighthearted behavior allows me and others to maintain some cohesiveness, dignity, and self-respect. I can’t get to a resolution if I am red-eyed, sweating, and ready to explode. Emotions you say. Calm in a storm you say.
There was a time when the oldest was around nine months. He was spending the day with our “M”. He had just started his walking process. Apparently, he managed to maneuver to the corner of her solid wood coffee table and crack his head open just directly above his eye. Of course, Granny and Pop rushed the first-born hallowed GRANDson to the emergency room. While there the nurses had to tie him down in a vest and numb his forehead. After all that, someone still had to hold him down to allow the four or five stitches to go in. Mind you, the entire story here is hearsay. When I was made aware of the situation, the GRANDson was resting peacefully at his Granny’s house. Just where we had left him. I am sure his grandmother gained a few extra gray hairs that day. I think she was terrified at what I would think as she told me the story. “OK. He seems fine now. Nothing to worry about M.” That kid was in the best of hands. To this day, that woman would do nothing that would cause harm or unrest for him. Why would I create a problem that doesn’t exist?
Emotions you say. In most cases, I don’t think I showed a lot of fear or hurt in front of the children during points of sheer terror. During loss or sadness, yes, but never during upset or confusion. I can recall a few incidents that brought me to my knees and rocked the inner fiber of my being as their mother. When the eldest and only child at the time had a spiked fever of over 104 degrees and we had just moved to Chicago. When the eldest decided not to go away to college. When he moved back home after living with his girlfriend for a period and the relationship ended. The very first BIG mother-son blow up. When the youngest son tore his ACL and meniscus. When I was traveling, and the daughter got hurt and was taken to the hospital. There were emotional periods. Most recently when the daughter had a temporary sugar low and collapsed in our kitchen. In those instances, as difficult as it might have been, I wasn’t emotional. I was very calm, very “collected” as they say. I had to make sure they were okay first. After the storm. After the confusion. After the devastation. The flood gates opened wide. More of a point of relief release. We had collectively made it past that storm and were stronger for it. We were okay.
The purpose behind this short story was simply to express that emotion, in its rightful space, has a place and a reason. Emotion serves all of us well and lends to our heart connection. It's not to say don't express emotions. It's not to say emotions are a bad thing or a curse. Emotions, expressions of love, kindness, friendship, honor, respect. However, when misused, emotion, can create chaos, hurt and devastation. Don’t let your emotions run you but allow your emotions to be an outlet that ultimately brings you peace. Choose your opportunities for emotions wisely.