The Gift of Knowing How to Stay Calm
Linda Weise
January 16, 2022

Crazy to think that another year has gone by while the world grapples with so many unknowns, particularly with COVID.  Stay home, wear a mask, you don’t need to wear a mask, isolation, depression, get vaccinated, get a booster, get another booster, and on and on…..

As we stand on the cusp of the final month of another wonky year, I think about the gift of calm that my mother taught my sisters and I.  A gift that is most certainly taught by example; subtly and constantly.  Why are calmness, serenity and peace of mind such important gifts? Why even think about it separately and intentionally?  That’s just it- we MUST think about it intentionally, especially in our current and noisy societal landscape.  A child will feel everything you feel.  They do well before they even enter into the physical outside world.  We all know that.  A child will go from the safe and quiet space within the womb to an absolutely mad outside world.  There’s no denying the world around them at home, at the store, at a friends’ or simply riding in the car.  As much as we would want them to be protected from all the craziness and the noise, we just can’t, nor frankly, I believe, should we. That’s not the path to a ‘calm’ child- in effect, over protecting does just the opposite.  I have been witness to that madness for 30+ years ( another blog, another time)  It is how we walk through the world and interact with all that is around us that the child watches and learns from.  

From the simple and daily tasks that might include getting out of bed and brushing our teeth or preparing the breakfast table to the complex of a sudden death in the family- an intentional and confident  ‘sharing the emotional journey’ is what will transcend any spoken or written lesson. 

I recall the many times my father would either get laid off or move to another company and how that would upset the apple cart at home- whether with schedules or money.  Looking back now, it must have been so very stressful with four little daughters to care for.  I can recall those moments most fondly of the times of bologna sandwiches and lentils.  My mother never missed a beat.  She never complained, never yelled at my father or got frustrated.  Nope, she made sure we had our sandwiches and that there was always a pot of hot lentils on the stove. What else do you do when times are uncertain? 

Then there were the times of death in the family.  My mother came from a huge Polish family and it seemed that death was always around- but more importantly – so was life.  Yes, an aunt was gone- but there were cousins to care for, food to make for the family and  help to give around the house.  It was hard, and there was sadness no doubt, but the calm came from always helping others.  Isn’t that a nice lesson to share with a child? 

I could go on and on now that I have taken this time to reflect.   I’d like to believe that I demonstrate that gift still to this day.  I know that  grown my daughters do- not much that can ‘yank their chain’ so to speak. 

Peace of mind, serenity and calm are gifts that can change the trajectory of a life.  It is spiritual strength.  What a tremendous gift to give a child. 

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