Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Timehop Tuesday
This post was originally published in June of 2013

The other day little Ainsley's face was awash with fresh tears and she was calling out to me. When I asked what the matter was, she could barely speak the words through heavy sniffles and sighs. But when she finally caught her breath this is what she said: "When I'm in second grade I'm going to have to learn about silent "E"s". We should take note that she will be in the second grade in no fewer than three years.

Listen. I know silent "E"s don't scare everyone. I know silent "E"s may be some people's favorite. But for this little moment in time, my baby is afraid of their looming nearness. In just 1,095 days she'll be chased down by the likes of well, like, side, and drone. It is freaking her out. We don't always understand why people are afraid. We certainly don't always understand why they are afraid of what they are afraid of. But all of us, somewhere deep in our inner parts, know what it is to be scared. And we can extend the hand of grace and meet people where they are in their battle with fear.

It might be tempting for another mom to hold her tongue and resist saying, "Are you serious right now? You are a sobbing hot mess over a silent E. A silent E you will probably not have to even talk about for a thousand more sleeps!!?" But that's not me. I blow it in other ways, I'm reasonably sure. But empathy for a fearful heart is where I Rock the Casbah. I've.been.there. And I just never want to judge a frightened heart. I also don't want to give fear titanic power over anyone, least of all one of my children. Because there's something else we all have in common in our fear, our battle, our struggle. We just want one moment of validation. We want someone to say that they understand that life is scary sometimes and remind us that we know the dragon slayer--the fear conqueror. That never, not for one instant, are we alone in our fear. It doesn't always mean the fear disappears instantly but it does mean we are not alone in it, and that my friends, is very good news.

Now, some two and a half years later, silent "E"s are a regular and welcome part of Ainsley's life. I don't remember any notable trauma when they were introduced into her world and she appears none the worse for wear. Yet another example that our "what if" projections on to the future are almost always more terrifying than the real thing. 

3 Comments so far - Add yours!

  1. Wonderful post. Oh how I need a more empathic heart when my daughter shares with me fears that seem unfounded. I will remember this.

    1. Thanks, lovely. We can slug it out together. I am still learning how to do this well.

  2. Love it. Again. If you post it tomorrow, i'll probably love it then too. :)