A couple of weeks ago Johnny began to want to deal with his feelings of SADNESS and try to express himself. After his Grandpa passed away, if we asked him about “Wompa” he would say “Mamma…shhh!” Dealing with grief and sadness is hard enough let alone when you are dealing with young children. Imagine how big the challenge is when your child is feeling so much but can’t easily tell you what is gurgling inside of him and wanting to come out. So we decided to follow his lead and see where he would take us when he was ready.
It began with Johnny grabbing a book we have called “May Feels Sad” and sitting and looking at the sad bunny on the front. He pointed to the front cover and said “sad” and tenderly touched the face of the bunny and said “shh…” He pointed to the bunny’s tears and said “tears” and kissed the bunny’s face.
Johnny then turned and showed us the book and wanted us to read to him while he pointed to pictures of May the bunny and said “sad”.
We then began to relate the story of May being sad that her best friend is moving away to his feelings about his “Wompa” and he let us.
Johnny wanted his Daddy to read the book about May the sad bunny even though it was making him feel sad too. The whole time we kept sneaking looks at each other and silently encouraging each other to keep going and follow Johnny’s lead.
The sad bunny called May was feeling “droopy” and “mopey” and feeling the saddest she has ever felt and we told Johnny that is how Mommy and Daddy feel because Grandpa is gone and won’t be coming back.
Johnny looked very sad and pointed to his Grandpa’s room.
One of Johnny’s bedtime rituals was to jump on Wompa’s bed and snuggle or play with him before saying “bye “every night. This was the second night of my best friend visiting and staying with us and her and Johnny had been frolicking on the guest bed in the room that was once my father’s. It made Johnny very happy (thank you my friend) to do this but we wondered later if this helped him remember happy times with Wompa and then want to deal with the empty droopy feeling inside that he was now feeling but was having trouble expressing.
As you can imagine i had a big cry after I tucked Johnny in but it was not a cry of sadness. I was letting out how I was feeling: amazement, relief, happiness, success etc because my boy was trying to let us know how he was feeling and finding his own way to express himself. He’s going to be okay.
Book “May Feels Sad” by Teddy Slater copyright.