Head in the Sand

20 Dec

The father of a girl in Michaela’s class died this week. As far as I know, it was unexpected. It would be sad any time, but I especially feel for the girl because it’s right before Christmas, and I would imagine those two things will forever be entwined for her.

I asked Michaela how she was doing with the news. She said she wasn’t sure how to feel. I asked her if it made her scared that her dad would die, too. Michaela, in a classic example of compartmentalization, said, “I prefer not to think about it. If I think about it, it will make me sad, so I just don’t.” I told her I understood that because I’m the same way, but if I’ve learned anything in my 40 years on the planet, it’s that it’s better to acknowledge your emotions and find a healthy outlet for them. She thought about it for about a millisecond, reiterated her desire to ignore it, and then changed the subject.

She’s so my kid.

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