|A few months ago, I did my friend a favor by staying with her young boys while she was on vacation. This little adventure gave me a new respect for working mothers. Making breakfast, packing lunches, getting the kids dressed and the dogs fed while trying to get myself ready for work was quite a challenge.
As I was dropping the 6 year old off, I was shocked to notice that in all of the morning chaos, I was actually on time. In fact, I was 10 minutes early, which was a relief because I needed to rush to work.
Luckily, there was before-school care in the gymnasium. I walked him to the gym and kneeled down to give him a hug goodbye. As I stood up his eyes started welling up with big crocodile tears and he whispered, “But…I don’t know anyone in there.” I pointed to his friend, who I knew was in his class and enthusiastically stated, “Look you’re friend is sitting over there waiting to play a game with you!” He then looked at me and cried, “But…but…I have a headache.”
My heart broke for him; of course I stayed. But as I drove away I wondered what could have been behind those tears. He typically was an outgoing child; that morning was no different as he was singing all the way to school. Had some child in that room teased him before? Was he insecure about approaching other children to play? Did he really have a headache that suddenly appeared as we stood at the gym doors? One thing is certain; no matter your age stress can appear at any time of life.