Lately I have had the ‘pleasure’ of driving our teenage daughter to the chiropractor three days a week after school. She is a serious student, so for years now her mood has depended on how her school day went, how much homework she has and any looming projects in mind. I am accustomed to treading lightly, easing in to test the waters, but with the addition of an appointment right after school most days, the mood is grim because she is not to the point of the visit helping her pain yet, just calling more attention to it. Each day as we are walking into the office my girl hisses some remark about how much she hates being there. It’s all emotion, and she seems much more relaxed as we leave, but I have come to dread the whole process as much as she does.
Recently I was texting my guy, lamenting the fact that I am subjected to this over and over again and do you know what he said? “Keep pressing forward. Thanks for taking the crappy attitude.” That’s it. He didn’t try to fix it, or talk me out of feeling what I felt. He noted my frustration and thanked me, helping me to see this as something I choose to do for our girl, even if she doesn’t appreciate it. He handled me, and I love it.
So often all we really need is some empathy; an acknowledgement, thanks or encouragement at just the right time can inspire us to continue pressing on. Who needs to hear your words of encouragement today? Don’t try to fix or placate, just love on someone with kindness and understanding. Maybe I can work a little more of that into the car ride….