Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I see the picture you're not posting

Hey, you guys?

I just want you to know, I get it. I get how hard it is at this time of year when your Facebook feed is full of the shining, happy faces of your friends' kids on the first day of school. I know how much it stings.  I know the pain, and then the guilt you feel that someone else's joy should cause you pain, and then the loneliness you feel because, it seems, nobody else really seems to get that this is a really hard time of year for you. Because it should be happy, right? Look! Shiny, happy faces everywhere! This is a Very Happy Time.

But it's okay to feel the way you do. It's normal to look at pictures of shiny faces and feel sad for your child, whose anxiety about a new transition kept him up for most of the night. It's okay to look at pictures of crisp new outfits and feel the pang of hurt for your child who was so bothered by the texture of the treasured new outfit she'd chosen that she cried and cried all morning until you convinced her that it really was okay to wear her old, soft t-shirt on the first day. I understand how hard it is to see the photo of the happy kindergarten student as he boards the bus for the very first time, as you prepare to drive your high schooler across town to school, because he just isn't ready to ride the bus on his own yet.

I get it. It's really, really hard.

But you know what? I posted a happy picture of Bud on Facebook this morning, too. It was a real, genuine, happy moment and he had a good first day of school. But I haven't exhaled yet. I won't exhale for weeks - if I exhale at all.

I keep thinking about something Jess from Diary of a Mom posted last December, as the holidays approached.  I think it's a good thing to remember now, too.

So, really. It's okay. I get it. I see the picture you're not posting.

And I'm not posting one just like it.