Sometimes you don’t notice strength until you see it in action. My youngest daughter has been so strong for her kitty. She’s hanging out with him, making sure he is comfortable, and generally making sure he does not feel alone. She must be hurting, but I think being able to do something for him helps.
There are so many things we wish our kids didn’t have to learn: how to cope with sorrow, how to say goodbye to a loved one, the fact that there are things they just can’t do anything about, the realization that we as parents are not all powerful. Dealing with big and small disappointments and the instances of injustice that you can’t help but run into forces children to stretch and grow, most times well beyond their level of comfort.
It’s not just at times of great emotional loss that they have had to be strong. The disappointment of not being chosen for something, a schedule conflict that meant they couldn’t do what they really wanted to do, the perceived betrayal of someone they thought of as a friend, the responsibility that comes with achievement – all need a degree of toughness and power.
There have been many instances over the years when my daughters have had to deal with things way beyond their control and have handled them with grace and strength. They have had many choices to make when deciding how they will react and deal with adversity of any kind.
Watching them cope and adjust and grow has been an education for me as well.