Sunday, December 26, 2021

'Tis the Season?

Yesterday, someone I know had a bit of an emotional meltdown because her son told my daughter that on Christmas Eve he saw the jolly man in red (who has a bushy white beard) on a rooftop across the street (at 8, he's a sincere believer, and his mom works hard to keep it that way).  My daughter proceeded to explain to him how the logistics of it all didn't make much sense.*  

(When raising critical thinkers goes...wrong??? Oops!) 🙃 😆 

This incident has conjured up all sorts of emotions in the child's mother.  She explicitly told her son (my girls' regular playmate) he's not to go to our yard to play, at least for the rest of that day; she hasn't said a word to any of us in passing (atypical), and a bizarre episode occurred earlier today in which she --within earshot of all of our children--loudly and furiously cursed their poor puppy out so badly that an elder from the house of the other side of hers came out to see what the problem was.  The "f word" was used no less than five times.  It was bad, embarrassing for her, and reminded me very much of this.  

Although I'm aware that she will go off on the dog at times, I knew that incident resulted from frustration with self.  The venom being spewed was not only meant for the dog.  It was meant for me to witness.  

Me being who I am, I've been taking it all in stride while minding my business.  It's not like I don't have plenty to do and sort out emotionally already! 

Chile, please.  

---

When I think about the issue that arose as a result of what my child told her child, two things come to mind: 

This quote:

Fantasy is what people want, but reality is what they need.--Lauryn Hill.

And this quote (which I came across while creating this post):

"...truth doesn't need your participation.  It's true."-- Tricia Hersey of The Nap Ministry

Despite the fact that the above quotes resonate with me, and despite the fact that I'm encouraging my girls to exercise their critical thinking skills which don't necessarily make space for holiday fairy tales, here's the thing: 

I couldn't care less if she, her son, or anyone else outside of my immediate family believes in Santa Clause.  I'm not sure that there's a way for me to express in text how much I really don't care. It occupies zero (0) space in my conscience.  It's a non-issue.  

However, her adherence to the idea of the joyful thing (in this case, Santa Clause) is literally making her mad.  That shouldn't be the case.  There are a number of humorous, silly, and creative ways that the situation could have been handled in order for her to preserve her peace as well as the fantastical, magical idea of Santa Clause within her own child without the need for the meltdown.  

Your joyous thing that is meant to be a source of elation is problematic as it's currently situated within your belief system if any dissenting remarks about it can reduce you to anger and despair.   

Expressed another way:

When the thing that is supposed to bring you joy becomes a point of distress, it's time to evaluate your feelings for, ideas about, and understanding of that thing.

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It's an unfortunate situation, as we'd both been supportive of each other in numerous ways prior to this incident.  Yet, I've since been shown many things in the short span of time since she stormed off yesterday (and mind you, we were having a cordial conversation when all of this happened).  I've been silently observant and in tune with the clarity that has arisen within me as a result of the drama.  I'm understanding that it's not just about Santa Clause.

There ain't no substitute for the truth. Either it is or it isn't.  You see, the truth it needs no proof. Either it is or it isn't.  And you know the truth by the way it feels.--India Arie

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* My daughter and the boy had this same conversation last year, and it just blew over.  No biggie for either child.  They both walked away adhering to their own lines of thinking.  🤷🏾‍♀️   I've explained to my daughter that each family and person can adhere to the convictions that suit them.  I told her just say, "Ok" when the Santa Clause conversation comes up. The force is strong with her, though! 

*****

I'm playing it cool on the outside, raising these children to know how to navigate these types of things with grace.  Meanwhile, I'm over here in my head like:      

"...see you don't change the truth

and your hurt feelings no excuse

to keep me in this box

psychological locks

repressing true expression

cementing this repression

promoting mass deception

so that no one can be healed..."

CHURCH! Hitting hard today the same as it did in 2002. 

These people better recognize! (Can I still say that in 2021?? 😅)

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