I drove to work this week past an elementary school. It was the first day of school. There were really little people with bigger people standing close.
And then I stopped.
I remember watching our first one climb on the bus for the first day of kindergarten. I cried that day, too. I remember watching him try out for the team, her try out for the play. I remember the nerves, the anxiousness, the sense of “what does this say about my kid? What does this say about me?”
I realized that the people who are most helpful to others are people who don’t forget.
- They are people who say, “I sure struggled with that”, a sentence which means, “It isn’t just you.”
- They are people who say, “That process didn’t make sense to me either. Here’s how I found my way.”
- They are people who say, “Can I help you hold that?”, a sentence which means, “I will stand here with you for awhile.”
- They are people who don’t say, “Did you see those saps crying over there?”
- They are people who don’t say, “Just wait until she’s at college orientation.”
This is sort of about school, I guess, and the challenges of parenting. But it’s really about building meaningful relationship. The people we trust are people who haven’t forgotten what it’s like to not understand. And are willing to explain.
Would you consider being one of those people?