There it was, 15 feet up, stuck on a tree limb. My grandson’s favorite stuffed animal hanging and lodged by a single leg now out of his hands and his control. In his five-year-old mind it seemed permanent, so he cried and cried. He imagined it gone from his life forever and thus the emotion. We held him to console him and then said, “There’s no need to cry. Let’s work on a solution to the problem.” When asking him what we could do about the problem he shrugged his shoulders and whimpered, “I don’t know.” We asked him if crying could be part of the solution and he managed to shake his head no.
He just couldn’t seem to muster up any viable solution so Mimi (grandma) abruptly retrieved a long-handled broom and asked him if this could help. He looked at the broom and then the stuffed animal in the tree and said, “Maybe.” Having no other ideas coming from our grandson, grandma began to whack the tree in order to loosen the lodged friend. He found the exercise funny and began to laugh as the stuffed toy now hung by one arm. Eventually “Nigel” fell to the ground and was quickly grabbed by his owner.
I just know we’ll have something “stuck up in a tree” today and it will take a solution. Or, we could just cry about it. Why is it that we tend to have an emotional response first? Our initial response is truly up to us, be it tears, anger or silence, but in the end, like my grandson, we’ll need a solution.