The past few weeks our mornings have been a little rough. Our 3 year old had adjusted just fine to the daycare he started in the fall. But recently, a slight change to his regular pick-up time threw him for a loop. Pleasant drop-offs turned into dramatic, heart-wrenching goodbyes. It’s been a considerably distressing all-around.

We spoke to the teacher and administration at the school to confirm nothing usual was going on. They told us that he was always fine a few minutes after we left. We also felt reassured that he indeed liked school as many days he wouldn’t want to leave! Kids. Go figure!

Each day we would remind him that once he got settled in, he would have fun. Still, each day was a struggle… both emotionally and some days even physically as we’d have to carry him in as he grasp to anything he could get his hands on.

Today we turned it around!

The car ride started out on a similar note… “I don’t want to go to school”. I empathized that I understood he misses me when we are apart. That it is okay to be sad, but often times feeling better is a choice.

I told him that it helps me to feel better when I smile. I suggested we walk in together today smiling and then focus on making a nice goodbye. We planned it all out. I asked, “how should we say our goodbyes?… a high five, hug, kiss, fist-bump, tickles, squeezes?” Melt my heart, he choose a hug and butterfly kisses. And we did it! Today we had a happy goodbye!

I recognize this might be considered minor and insignificant to some, but it was a big win for us. As I drove off to work, I felt joyous and triumphant.

I reflected upon how this lesson can apply to all of us. I recognize it is easier said than done, we all feel our feels. But so often, it’s just comes down to deciding to feel better. We can all strive with intention.