by Beth Ann Morgan
Crisis of any kind challenges even the bravest to handle it well, but without wisdom gleaned from several years of life experience, children dealing with crisis tend to resort either to retreating in or acting out.
Ours acted out. In an all-or-nothing kind of way, a way that was totally out of my league.
I remember the first time Lisa Hayslip, one of our Early Intervention (EI) therapists, came to our house with a boot-box size bin filled with hard, dry beans. After sitting on our family room floor, she popped off the top. Hannah gasped with delight as Lisa plunged her hand deep into the bin, wiggling her fingers all around.
Without hesitation, Hannah followed suit and played in the wonderful tub of beans, enjoying the silky smoothness and pleasant weight covering her hands. I hadn’t seen her smile like this for weeks, yet here she was, digging around for plastic teddy bears like a mole tunneling toward a big juicy worm. She scooped and dumped, slow and fast, swooshing and splashing into the tub of dark red bliss.
For a full thirty minutes.
As the session came to a close, Lisa closed up her box. Hannah’s pretty face fell. Her thirty minutes of peace and purpose dissolved like a mountain of snow on the Fourth of July.
My heart broke. That parental, “I love you so much and want to obliterate the big horrible beast that’s causing you so much pain, but if I can’t, I’m going to do everything in my power to help you through it” feeling rushed through me as we waved goodbye to Lisa.
My mind crumpled up today’s “To Do” list and tossed it into the trashcan. I picked up my keys with a smile.
“Want to hit the Dollar Tree, Sweetheart?”