Adults and children have very different ideas of what an actual tragedy is. A tragedy to an adult is the death of a loved one, a bad accident in your car, illness, the social things that we are seeing today such as the shootings, illness or pain in our children. To us, these are tragedies. These are serious things!!! At least to adults. It is often difficult to take our minds to the level of what our children experience as tragic.
Of course, along the lines of the above descriptions of tragedies, for a child, the death of a beloved pet is tragic. Mini-Me's family lost a dog recently. Max was very sad and said a prayer for the departed when they buried him. It was the first thing she told me about when she saw me before she left on vacation. And then . . . just like that she moved on. Her sadness was quickly replaced with all the things in life that a child loves.
Another tragedy that I have witnessed is the breaking of a toy. That is probably taken as hard as the loss of a pet. I have seen full scale sobbing because the head got snapped off a Barbie doll, or a bicycle got run over by the Blonde. The demands to "fix it" are endless. Specifically, when the Blonde ran over the tricycle dragging it in ignorant bliss down the driveway while we chased her, there were endless questions about why that happened. The answer seems obvious to an adult. "Your aunt was not watching what she was doing and was not aware of the surroundings, and it got stuck under the car." And "I don't know why she kept driving and I can't believe she couldn't hear the horrible crunch of a tricycle being mangled." And every adult right now is thinking, "Thank God there wasn't a child on the tricycle!" Stitch just wants to know why his bike is broken.
Then of course there is the tragedy of asking a child to eat their dinner. That one recently threw the entire kitchen into a vacuum containing the sound of a loud and high pitched wail! There were numerous tears flowing down the face and more screaming as the kitchen was evacuated by the child making our ears hurt until he could calm himself. How dare we ask him to eat food!!!!
My recent favorite was when Max came out of her bedroom dressed and ready for school. Please understand that my grandchildren seem to have their seasons totally screwed up. Stitch is convinced that when the sun is shining it is warm. All summer he wants to wear sweatpants and all winter he wants to wear shorts. Max is not much different. Thank God we have a little time until the baby is able to argue about his attire. Anyway, Mini-Me took a look at Max and simply said, "Not that shirt today." Max fell into a puddled heap on the floor and began sobbing and screaming, "No, no, no." You would have thought we just informed her that Barbie's Dreamhouse had been torpedoed by GI Joe.
I guess it is all a matter of perspective. Before you get too angry with your child over tragic tantrums, remember two things. First, anger is an unproductive and very destructive emotion. No good comes from it. Believe me, I know. You are listening to a woman who has had some very angry moments in the raising of seven children. Second, our children are small and they view life from a very simplistic vantage point. A large adult yelling at a child is frightening. And to them life is broken down into the simplest of terms. They cannot see things with our life experiences because they haven't been there yet. But we can change our perspective.
Maybe the lesson is for us as adults to learn. Maybe we ought to go back to a simpler, cleaner more honest view of the world around us and life. Something to think about as you scurry through your day and let hundreds of little things annoy you, give you grey hair and raise your blood pressure. Enjoy the simple things that God has blessed us with. Have a beautiful and blessed week.
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!