Moods are personified in babies. Babies don’t have filters. They don’t try to control their moods. We can learn something from this.
My youngest daughter freaked out after her mama hopped out of the car to go to a board meeting. She squealed as if someone had stabbed her with a pin. Oh, Dear Sadness! Anxiety! Mama! Mama! Mama!
My first thoughts were to console her to get her to stop so I could listen to my Jazz in the pouring rain. But then I realized, she is fine. She is safe. Let’s let the emotion play out.
I gave her a warm smile to throw some love at her and, perhaps, to cajole ANXIETY into showing up in all its fullness. C’mon out, ANXIETY, let’s see what you got!
My daughter’s squeals crescendoed instantly. My god, what a horrible sound! Tuning it out was impossible so I let the squeal ride over the Jazz like some atonal screeching lyricist sounding out her poetry. It worked. The squeal picked up and a cacophonous chorus showed itself: Waaaaahhhhh! Waaaaaahhhh! MA-ma! MA-ma!
Anxiety has a song! And it played for 5 full minutes — 5 ear-splitting, head-buzzing, headache-inducing, make-you-want-to-drive-off-the-side-of-the-road minutes.
And then it stopped.
In the rear-view, I could see my daughter’s head drooped down and bobbling with the bumps in the road. She’d crashed out.
The remaining 10 minutes in the car were a harmonious instrumental track, accompanied by the tap-tap of the perfect rain and the thump-scrape of the wipers. The gentle rhythm was back. The diva had left the building, seemingly satisfied to have had an audience and a space to sing her song.
It’s as if ANXIETY needed a witness, like a lost soul caught between worlds craving a sign that it’s time to move on.
Thump scrape, thump scrape.
She’ll be back.