She was sobbing.
"But - *sniff* - mom - *sob* - I - *sniff* - don't WANT to go to school!"
On Friday, I thought my daughter was fine. I sent her to school. An hour later, I get a call from the nurse that she has a slight fever, and home my little girl comes. The weekend arrives - she goes to a sleepover, plays outside. Coughs a little, but is otherwise fine.
Monday morning rolls around....and suddenly the sickness returns.
The Mommy Dilemma
Parents, you've been there. You trust your child, buuuuut......
Is it that she is really still sick? No visible signs, but exhaustion is keeping her barely moving. Or is it that it is Monday morning...and that she probably stayed up stealthily last night, reading in her bed after she was supposed to have fallen asleep?
Unfortunately, there is no way to know. I either send her to school - then get another call from the nurse and look like the world's worst mommy because I forced her to go to school once again, or I keep her home and, in an hour, find out that she was just having "one of those mornings" and is now quite bouncy - but has missed her morning work.
This particular decision probably won't alter the course of either of our lives in any drastic way. A missed or rough morning at school is just part of yet another week.
What interests me is the process behind my own decision, and what I am modeling to and teaching her in the process. How so?
The Adult Dilemma
This little challenge isn't just limited to parents. We all face these struggles in our own minds.
Whether it is getting out of bed early to exercise or meditate, going to work on a day when all we want to do is sleep, or choosing chores over another episode of that show (yeah, you know the one) - we all have those times when the path before us is the one we DEFINITELY don't want to take.
Sometimes, it is wise to listen.
Sometimes, the body needs rest. It may give us signs through a fever or aches and pains. Or we may have no visible symptoms, but know beyond a shadow of doubt that what we need in that moment is to stop, to pause, to release our previous plans and just rest.
Sometimes, it is wise to move.
In these times, comfort is the addiction. You want to be comfortable NOW. This is the typical Monday-Morning blah, where after a weekend of indulgence in moments of comfort, you return to a schedule that is often challenges you out of that comfort zone. You might know it would benefit you to turn off the alarm and exercise before work, but the bed is soooo comfy and maybe just one more snooze wouldn't hurt......
This is where the challenge comes in, again and again.
There are no right and wrong answers. There are consequences to actions; causes and effects. Knowledge is understanding this. The path of wisdom is mindfully engaging with your choices, knowing that you both know....and don't know.
If my daughter misses school, there will be consequences. If I don't exercise, or do my work, or have this cup of coffee, or switch the laundry, there will be consequences. But I have no idea the consequences that ripple out from these decisions that go unseen, or that might happen years down the road. All I can do is be present with my own knowledge and intuition, and with those around me, and make my decisions as best as I can in this moment.
No rights, no wrongs.
One morning at a time.