This past week our community came together as a grieving mother endured a parent’s worst nightmare… her 4th grader passed away while at school. This week, as I wept for a mother I’ve never met, I couldn’t help but think about my own life and children. Tragedies have a way of doing this. They make you think twice about the little things, the big things, and all those in-between things.
Life is full of these subtle reminders, but the closer to home, the louder they’re heard. In my adult life, I have seen illness, cancer and death. I have witnessed loss, suffering, and injustice. Each time a tragedy strikes, I realign my perspective. I evaluate what is and what is not important.
After my own daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy, I made this “perspective thing” personal. I stopped stressing about the small stuff and started using a new phrase…
It is just…
I use this phrase daily.
No matter your perspective, challenging things are going to happen, so you might as well free yourself a bit. Kids are going to spill liquids or break things. There are going to be times when you miss appointments or show up late. Even when your bathroom remodel turns into a decorating nightmare and has to be re-remodeled… employing the “It is just” phrase lightens the load of the situation and refocuses your perspective.
It is just spilt milk.
It is just a dress.
It is just a bathroom.
The day the 4th grade child passed away, I had to take my kids to football practice. We were running late (of course), the mouthguard was missing (of course), the car looked like a dumpster (of course), and my sweet toddlers were fighting me and each other relentlessly (of course). I was fried, the kids were a wreck, and I began counting down the hours until bedtime.
Then, as I pulled kid after kid out of my car, I thought about the boy’s mother — having just lost her precious child — and I felt the unwarranted weight of my perspective. I felt guilty for being frazzled and frustrated.
Edward’s mom would give anything to wrestle through the drama of another day with her son.
As my sweet children ran and played and continued to fight, I took a deep breath and reminded myself of perspective. It is just… practice, a mouthguard, a smelly car, and terrible 2’s and 3’s (my last two babes are freakishly close in age).
It is just…
So today I pose a challenge to you, mom: as you frantically shuttle kids around, feed, bathe, and tuck your sweet babes into bed, try using the “It is just” phrase.
It is just… will bring you a deeper peace than you ever thought possible, if you let it.
Until next month,
The World’s Okayest Mom