Friday 5 April 2019

Lessons Learnt from my 15 year old

Welcome lovelies!

I know that every week has been a hectic one this year, and I fully understand that it is just life actually. Being present with everything that happens, addressing what bothers me and always making time to introspect, requires energy to navigate every day. It means that there's no space for pretence, harbouring grudges or being concerned with what others are doing. 
This last two weeks of school holidays turned out to be another big learning curve for me as a parent. My youngest approached me with a rumour of  a classmate being murdered, and their group of friends who play online games with him had tried to get a hold of him upon hearing this. This young man was unreachable via watsapp and didn't engage in any online gaming for more than a week, so the group of young men became worried that the rumour may be true. About a week later, the rumour was confirmed and a few days before starting school we sat down and had a conversation with our youngest. 
As an adult, I have dealt with many deaths, very few close to me, but I would think I have the capacity to process it. A murder is entirely another story, it highlights the dark side of human nature, and the close proximity it shows up in our lives. I had to first work through my own shock and my own sadness so that I could listen and be present for my son. Because, despite how I felt about it, he was having to deal with it from a young mind and an innocent heart, which was ultimately my concern. How does one explain to a 15 year old, that sometimes these events are decreed, and will set everyone on a path in their own lives. How do I explain that trauma is also a Divine decree, whether as a test, strengthening your faith and that is what we mean when we say "May Allah/ God place sabr/patience and contentment in the hearts of the family"? It's a shock yes, it's heartbreaking to hear, and at the same time I know that everyone experiences some kind of trauma in their lives, it's a given in life. However, it became obvious that I was unnecessarily worried, he understood it as I said it, without any further qualification, he got it!

The other side of the coin was how does my young son deal with a sudden and brutal loss of a classmate? I have been through this before with my firstborn, when a classmate committed suicide in matric. Having had a similar experience doesn't make this one easier as I'm dealing with a different child. Yesterday my son told me that they had decided to leave his deceased classmate's desk empty for a while in remembrance of the space he occupied in the class. They have been undergoing counselling to come to terms with the loss and the manner in which it occurred, and as I sat and spoke to him, it dawned on me that this young gentleman knows exactly how to deal with his own shock and grief. It became very clear, that while he was extremely sad, he was OK and managing the honouring of his classmate very well.
This led me to a realisation that sometimes as parents we have a need to place our own drama, shock, grief or whatever other emotion into the space. When all our kids really need is a space to be able to work through the trauma in their own way, on their own terms and time line. So his decision not to have a party for his birthday last week, was not out of context, merely making a choice of what was best for him. 
The biggest thing I take from this experience is that our kids know exactly what they need, and as a parent, I need to acknowledge and support this. I cannot burden him with my own reactions to his trauma, I cannot expect him to deal with it in a way that I would. As young as he may be, he knows himself well enough to tell me he's fine in handling it. That should be enough for me.
And I know, without a doubt that if he finds himself floundering, he'll know where to look for support knowing that he won't need to take on any of my baggage as well. I have witnessed the grace with which these young kids expressed their grief, without focusing on the perpetrator. Their sole focus being on honouring their classmate and supporting each other through a shocking and traumatic experience. I have learnt an important lesson from my young man, and with it a new respect for the quiet strength he's able to tap into without engendering drama or making it all about himself. 

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” — Nelson Mandela

This outfit is a fun twist on the pleated tulle skirt, one I have had in my wardrobe since I started blogging about 6 years ago. I really didn't think that tulle skirts would still be a thing! Paired with a denim shirt and red velvet sneakers purchased on one of our travels. 

Outfit details:
Levis denim Shirt
Old Tulle skirt
Adidas red sneakers
Chimpel leather bag
Scarfstop scarf
Hse of Bespoke tassel earrings
Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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