I had a particularly heavy day so I decided to surprise El with balloons at school pickup. . I drowned out the voice in my head reminding me that balloons always lead to tears. Always. . I quickly realized I really hadn’t thought this all the way through when I showed up with balloons and the parents began ribbing me for making them look bad and the other kids were looking at us like, where’s mine? . El saw the balloons and said, “is it my birthday?” and I said, no silly! I just love you! . And she walked away in complete bliss while I chatted with other parents. One of their little girls said, “you should tie that to her wrist,” and I was like, yes, that’s a wonderful idea. . I took down at El from the top of the hill and see the balloons floating through the sky as El was reaching up for them. She had accidentally let them go. She erupted into a river of tears. A mother tried to catch them but was unsuccessful, so she hugged and consoled her. . And of course this happened! 🎈= 😭 always! . There has to be some sort of life metaphor in there. . We went to the car with all the other kids staring in disbelief like a scene from a scarring memory in a movie. El cried for nearly an hour afterward. . Lesson here is don’t buy your kids stuff to make yourself feel better. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜­

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Tonight I attended the first of what’s to be a 10-week group therapy slash writing group. We’re each sharing two stories — one of “shalom,” a moment of peace, awe, joy, solemnity — and a story of pain, something perhaps even unresolved. Tonight we also shared our hopes and fears for the group. One of my hopes was that I would let go of expectations for my time with the group. One of my fears was that my story wouldn’t seem as painful or extreme as theirs. The moderating therapists had to restrain themselves really hard from jumping into that one, and I get it. Someone else’s pain or experience doesn’t negate my own. Altogether I was amazed at the courage we each had to muster to tell our stories. Like this quote, the words and feelings aren’t in short supply. The hard part is sharing them. #Repost @mikefoster2000 (@get_repost) ・・・ we’ve always had the words and the feelings, but now were finding the courage. and in that i find great hope for this world and for each other.

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