Anxiety is no joke. Often, people who suffer from anxiety have no idea how to cope with it. Eventually, it gets to be too much and we just shut down. Adults have a little bit of an advantage because we have a better understanding of how the world works.
But children, on the other hand, suffer from anxiety in a much different way. They don’t know enough about themselves and the world to calm their anxiety down. So, they look to their parents to make it better for them.
This is exactly what happened with one mother and her young son. Liz Petrone noticed that her youngest son’s anxiety was constantly increasing during these past few months, so she came up with a way to help the little boy and then shared the story on Facebook.
She writes, “The anxiety has been strong with the littlest lately. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the way the seasons shift, a little at a time so slowly until it’s not slow at all anymore…”
The worried mother also suggests that it might be the fact that the holidays are quickly approaching and her son is just so excited that it’s giving him anxiety. Whatever the reason, watching your child suffer from something you can’t do much about is agonizing for a parent.
Petrone writes that the anxiety got to be too much one morning when her son was leaving for school. She shares that her son got onto the school bus, sat down, and immediately started crying. And there was nothing the mother could do for her crying son.
Petrone writes that the bus was almost completely gone, carrying her sobbing son, before she could do anything. She writes, “And yet still I tried, standing out in the middle of the road with my hands reaching towards him even as the big yellow box rounded the corner and drifted from sight.”
The next morning Liz Petrone was determined to save her son from experiencing such pain and sadness alone again. So, as the pair waited for the school bus, Petrone gently grabbed her son’s tiny wrist, kissed it, and then proceeded to take out a pen and draw on the child’s wrist.
She drew a tiny heart on the tiny wrist and told her son, “‘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 shares that after her son got on the bus that morning, he didn’t cry or look out the bus window sadly towards him mom. Instead, he looked at that tiny, reassuring heart on his wrist.
Petrone shared the story to help others who might be feeling like everything is too much or too hard. She admits that she knows it’s not a fix for anxiety, sadness, or depression, but it’s a simple way to help calm ourselves down. Remembering that someone loves you and is waiting for you can make all the difference when times get tough.
All images credit to Liz Petrone / Facebook.