"NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NOOOOOOOO!" Jameson wailed from the backseat of the car, kicking out of control, tears streaming down his face. I had just dropped Caroline off at our beloved Miss Maria's house for some sewing lessons, and Jameson had decided that he, too, wanted to go. (Not that the reason really mattered, since we all know toddlers can choose to melt down over anything.)
Instead of reasoning out why he couldn't go to sewing lessons or resorting to an alternative diversion tactic, I went straight for his heart.
"Jameson," I said softly and calmly through his screams at the stoplight. I'm surprised he even heard me. "Are you upset because you want to be the boss?"
A sweet, little voice innocently replied, "Yes."
"And you're sad because you're not the boss?"
SILENCE. All screams stopped.
There's just something about being understood that quiets our hearts, isn't there?
It's why we pay big bucks for therapists. When someone can hear, see, and understand beyond the circumstances that are immediately distressing us, it's like our hearts magically become tender, malleable, vulnerable. And we don't feel the need to scream any longer.
I was easily able to diagnose Jameson's real heart issue in the moment because I'm all too familiar with it myself. When I'm upset that something didn't go my way, I may or may not kick and scream, but ultimately I'm upset that I, too, am not the boss.
I don't always get to call the shots in my life.
I don't control how the story will go.
Many times I guess that's for the best, but it still doesn't keep me from wishing I could.
Jameson, I'm with you.
You've got to learn that you're not the boss.
But so do I.