Life is full of many hard things. My son recently taught me that sometimes we need to give ourselves a little pep talk to get through those hard things. I never realized my 2-year-old would be able to teach me such an important life lesson.
After months of being home with mom, dad, and baby brother, our son was headed to preschool. We felt it was the best decision for our family to send him when it started back up. I knew after being home without much structure, routine, and socialization since the beginning of March that the transition would most likely be a challenge.
Dropping your 2-year-old off curbside with a masked teacher who is pretty much a stranger to them is hard. It is hard as a mom. I kept imagining how I would feel in that situation. If I were a 2-year-old going to school and entering a brand new environment I would be anxious, scared, and confused. I set my expectations low and was fully prepared for the worst. It was going to be hard for him.
As the teacher helped him get out of the car I could tell he was hesitant. He got out of the car and walked into the building holding his teacher’s hand while also trying to hold back tears. I shed a few myself while driving away. After an hour I picked him up because unfortunately, his tears would not stop. My heart broke for him but I was proud of him. Proud of him for getting through that challenging moment. I felt helpless but also had hope he would adjust and it would get easier in time. After two difficult drop-offs, I continued to remind him, “Mommy drops you off and then mommy comes back when school is over. Mommy always comes back.” A difficult concept for a young child to understand.
As the minutes got closer to leaving for drop-off I could tell he was beginning to feel nervous and holding back tears. But I noticed he was repeating the phrase, “Mommy always comes back” over and over again. As he kept repeating this to himself the morning before school and anticipated what was going to happen, I realized he was giving himself a little pep talk; reminding himself that mommy comes back.
He loves school now. He gives himself one last reminder as the teacher helps him out of the car and then he’s ready to conquer his day. He is resilient and he is brave. Stepping out of our comfort zone can be hard. Trying something new is scary. Each morning before school when I hear him telling himself, “Mommy always comes back,” I am reminded he can do hard things. I can do hard things. We can all do hard things Sometimes we just need to give ourselves a little pep talk to conquer those hard moments.