I think about ‘two roads diverged in a yellow wood’ and I’m not thinking about the beginning of the path anymore. The end. When I can see the end, and the light up ahead, but there are roots and rocks and whatever else between me and that end.
Sometimes I’m at that point with my daughter. When she’s tired. I know she needs sleep. Sleep is the end; the answer. But to get there, she’s got to release all the pent up frustration and disappointment and negative emotion that she’s built up over the last few hours. And that comes out as crying.
I could put her down and let her cry herself to sleep. Metaphorically putting her down and walking to the end of the path and waiting for her to get herself to the end to join me.
I could try to find a way for her to avoid crying. See if there is another way through the woods that might avoid the rocks and roots in front of me. Unlikely, but worth a look I suppose.
Or I could just walk with her. Hold her hand over the roots, and scramble with her, if necessary, up the rocks. Practically, this involves wearing her for a few minutes while she blows through that steam. While she releases all that junk she’s carrying. Who hasn’t had a day that just needed a good cry at the end?
I’m not interested in discussing the merits of leaving my child to cry on her own. That is not something I’m willing to do. But I am willing to help her when she really needs to cry. I understand that feeling. I can stay with her, snuggling, till she takes that shaky breath and relaxes. I feel all that tension just evaporate and her slumber becomes a victory we can share together. Because we walked together.
I guess I’m just not much of a quitter. I wont quit on the journey, or her, or my goals. That just doesn’t work for me.