Some kids jump on the school bus that first day and never look back. Others have anxiety about school, a new routine, or for myriad reasons that can change by the minute. One mom’s brilliant way to calm her nervous child reminds us the importance of letting our kids know we’re always thinking about them, even when we can’t be there.
Writer Liz Petrone, a mother of four from New York, shared the idea on her Facebook page. “The anxiety has been strong with the littlest lately. I don’t know why,” she begins. “Maybe it’s just that he’s been asking me every single morning since he started school in September: “Mommy, is today Christmas?” and forever I’d just laugh and say oh no baby, we have a ways to go, except now that’s not so true anymore and the anticipation is so much I think he might spontaneously combust.”
Petrone said that morning she watched him get on the bus and start to cry, “crumpling into a big rush of sloppy tears” as the bus pulled away. As every parent can imagine, this would break your heart in a thousand tiny pieces, so she set out to find a way to comfort him.
The next morning Petrone said as they waited for the bus together, she pulled out a pen from her coat. “I grabbed his wrist, kissed the blue of his veins where the blood we share flows through his veins, and drew this heart,” she writes.
She told four-year-old Luca, “I want you to look at this heart every time it feels like too much. I want you to look, and I want you to remember that no matter what happens out there someone is here waiting for you to come home. Someone loves you.”
Petrone tells Scary Mommy that when his separation anxiety flares up or when he is feeling out of sorts, they have always tried to come up with creative ways to comfort him. “I was trying to think of a way to give him something he wouldn’t lose during the day that he could look at and be reminded that I was with him and loved him even while we were apart,” she said.
Petrone said she watched her son step on the bus that morning and waited for his face to appear at the window. “I waited for him to see me, to smile or wave or even to cry, but he never even looked at me. Instead, he looked at his wrist,” she writes.
She says although she knows its not a long term fix, “it’s a comfort just the same, and comfort can go a long way when you know someone loves you.”
Petrone says it’s not only helped with his anxiety, but the concept has taken off with the entire family. “We’ve all been sporting them, including me,” she says.
What a wonderful (and simple) way to remind the most important people in your life how very much they’re loved.