This morning my son woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Right from the start he was crabby. He was also late, so instead of playing before school he had to rush around. "This is just the worst day ever!" He said, burying his head into the couch cushions. I didn't want him to go to school in a bad mood, but I didn't really know what to say. He gets so caught up in a particular moment of displeasure. He cannot see beyond the disappointment into the brighter future. He fully lives each moment as it comes along as a single unconnected entity. As his mom I know it's silly. If this is truly his "worst day ever" he will lead quite a charmed (and also uneventful) life. But how do I make him grasp the insignificance of his sadness compared to the pain in the world?..... and should I try?
I don't know. But I did know that if he went to school with a sour attitude his day wouldn't improve much. So I scooped him up into my arms and sat him on my lap at the kitchen table. He ate breakfast and I told him, "Buddy your day will only be what you make it. You can stop this crabbiness right now and have a great day. It's up to you not anyone else." He didn't say anything. I got up to make his lunch. Pretty soon I heard him laughing with his sister. Then he gave her a hug and told her he was sorry for being mean.
We had to run through the snow together to not miss the bus, but he climbed those steps with a smile not a frown.