Part of sharing space with a very vocal two and a half year old is experience the entire spectrum of emotions on a daily basis. Like most toddlers, Bea goes from singing and dancing to quiet play to a temper tantrum to snuggles without missing a beat. Some days this can be exhausting. Fortunately, these feelings happen over the course of our day, not in the matter of minutes. (Usually.)
While I can easily get overwhelmed by a screaming fit for taking off her shoes, I also appreciate this phase in which Bea doesn’t hide her emotions. It makes me wonder when we learn those social skills of masking how we feel. I’m glad we learn those – I can’t imagine how awkward grocery shopping would be if every adult who was hungry was huddled by their shopping carts, crying out for a snack.
But, I think we can also learn from toddlers. Which emotions am I hiding because it’s more socially acceptable to smile and keep peace? Which emotions are worth sharing, worth stirring up, and worth making people uncomfortable with? When I reach a place of vulnerability with others, it usually involves sharing emotions that I’ve learned to mask.
While I don’t anticipate sharing how happy I am through song or stomping my feet in frustration any time soon, I do hope that I can model how to keep my emotions open and share my feelings honestly so that Bea doesn’t feel the need to hide her feelings as long as possible.
Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing.