I’m going to let you in on a little secret, shh. I didn’t really like school all that much. I know, I became a teacher. What kind of messed up logic is that? I also don’t really like snakes as one bit me on my ankle as a teenager and I had to go to the hospital for blood work. I then later volunteered at my favorite museum and learned to place my hand in a pillow case and pick up a snake without being afraid. I am scared to death of not making it this year with the money my husband and I have, but I am taking my sabbatical anyway. Why? Because you must do the things you are most afraid of sometime in life. Does this apply to everything? No, I’m not saying it does. Sometimes I think people take me literally.
Tonight, I did something my daughter was afraid to do. I could read her fear, but I had to show her that it’s okay to ask questions…even the ones you are scared to ask. I went up to the mom who just lost her daughter in a tragic event a few weeks ago. I asked her how she was doing. I knew that I probably said the wrong thing, but she could read the concern and the barely contained tears in my eyes. I had a wobbly smile that was inches away from crumpling as I went up to her. I hugged her and told her if there was anything I could do, please just let me know. That enabled my daughter to talk to her friend who had just lost her sister without fear of saying the wrong thing. The mother seemed truly grateful.
I know I’m going to make mistakes in life, and tragedy is horrible. But those who truly understand you care, will be okay if you look unsure as you ask how they are doing. I once hugged a friend who had just lost a baby and I told her I was so sorry. She thanked me and said how strange everyone was acting…like they didn’t know what to say. Here I am boldly hugging her in the hall. I ask the hard questions, but if you know me, you know I mean well. I don’t believe we are meant to suffer alone…so as my daughter heads back to school, I encouraged her to talk to her friend. I said just be normal…don’t avoid this. I hope you apply this to your life as well. Do the hard things every once in a while. Ask questions.