A few weeks ago the kids and I were sitting in my room strategically trying to organize all of the clothes they wanted to take with them on their trip to England with their dad. There was a bit of apprehension in the air, a pinch of excitement, a sprinkle of reservation and a dash of destinational curiosity. The trip was stirring up a mixed bag of emotions for all of us. As I watched them move clothes from the “For Sure” pile to the “Maybe” pile and then back again, I started to feel a bit sad inside. I could see it on their faces, the uncertainty and anxiety. And I’m pretty sure they could see it on my face too so we took a break.
We made some popcorn and sat down on my bed and closed the door. I know it may sound silly but we have this ritual where when we are sitting down on my bed in a circle it becomes our Circle of Trust (yes, from the movie). Together we talked about what our biggest fears were regarding this up-coming trip. Izzie`s were that she would miss me so much that she would want to come home, that something would happen to me while she was away, that she would get lost and that the plane would crash. T`s were that he would miss me and get lost. Mine were (as any parent`s would be) a) one of them would get lost in the big city of London, England and then what would they do and b) who would they call as I wouldn`t be there to look for them. We talked about why we felt this way and in one breath we all said because we love each other so much.
I didn`t want the kids to leave feeling this way. I wanted them to be excited and grateful that they were taking this once in a life time trip. I wanted them to spend this quality one-on-one time with their dad and I wanted them to find the courage to face their fears and take this giant leap. We sat there together for over an hour brainstorming different ways we could each face our fears. We each came up with one or two “tips for facing our fears” and we did! While it was hard to say goodbye at the airport, the trip was a huge success and when the kids returned they had a fabulous time walking me through pictures, talking me through their adventures and letting me know that they did everything we talked about doing when they felt they needed help facing their fears.
As a means of conquering our fears the kids and I have decided that in April we are going to pick one thing we`ve been putting off because of our fears and make the jump…we’ve also promised each other that no matter how amazing our successes are or how far we may fall, we would still be there to help each other celebrate or pick up the pieces and move forward…with a big comfy bed…a circle of trust…three fluffy pillows…and a big bowl of popcorn…