Grieving the Small Things
When we started our class to become foster parents, we were asked to introduce ourselves and talk about what made us interested in becoming foster parents and what our goals were. Our instructor, who had been working in the foster care field for 35 years, told us we had to take time to grieve. We need to grieve whatever got us to this point, what we admitted to the class and what we didn't. She explained that we needed to grieve our losses because in the future we will help to our foster children grieve. If you don't deal with your grief, it will stay with you and you will not be able to help other people grieve in the future.
I was thinking about this while on a bicycle ride with my five year old. We were going past the place where there are usually food trucks every week in the summer. Going to the food trucks has been a fun family activity for the past several years. There was a sadness in his voice when he asked, "Daddy, are the food trucks coming back?" He knew the answer, but he still asked. It is the same sadness as when he asks if we can go to the pool or to the playground.
My sister told me she is sad because this should be one of the most exciting summers of our life. Our family is about to have Scooter start kindergarten, he should be so excited about that. He will be starting kindergarten via distance learning. He went from excited about going to school to changing the subject when every we bring it up. So many of the things is his life has been disrupted. I can understand if he does not know what to expect when it comes to school. I cannot make any promises of but what his first year of school will be like. It is hard to get him latched onto an uncertain future.
As we rode the bike I was sad because of all the things we are missing. Not only is my son missing things from his childhood, but I am missing the chance to share things with him. These things sound small with other people facing much larger hardships, but if we don't deal with this sadness, we will be stuck. We will not be able to help other people when they need to grieve.