The Heart Grows Too

The other day, Claire was watching one of her very-favorite-of-all-time-in-her-life shows: Dinosaur Train. It was the end of an episode; I was nearby on the computer. Suddenly she burst into huge sobs. I was startled. What happened? What’s wrong?! I asked her. Her chest was heaving, and she wailed out, “They s-s-said good-bye!! I’m so sad! I feel so lonely!!”

I sat down and pulled her to me while she cried. Then we backed up the show to see what upset her. She burst into tears again. The dinosaur friends were saying good-bye for the evening, going home to dinner. It wasn’t forever good-bye. Then Claire said the music made her sad. And I could see that. The notes are sweet, but they’re in a minor key and they descend. It’s intended to evoke a feeling of end-of-the-day calmness, but in Claire it triggered sorrow.

“Mommy, does music make you sad?” I replied that sometimes, music has the power to stir up feelings of sadness, joy, anger, and other feelings.

I realize not everyone will care to know the details, but in case you’re curious, I found the episode online (be patient while the show loads).

Dinosaur Train: Tiny’s Tiny Place

If you watch it, you can move the little orange slider on the blue bar so that the number of seconds remaining say 1:00 (minute). Play it from that point, and watch and listen. It’s about 30 seconds, but it triggered a giant response.

She has grieved before — when things don’t go her way, or something is lost or taken from her. However, this was the first expression and experience of grief as a “witness,” on a more existential level, with a situation not attached to her directly.

It made my heart clutch for a moment. There is so much more of that ahead of her. I hope I am up to the task of helping her learn to hold her heart, and those of others, in compassion.

Explore posts in the same categories: Buddhism, Journal, Motherhood

4 Comments on “The Heart Grows Too”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Isn’t that interesting? After reading this, I brought my two in to watch the episode (one we had not seen, even though they LOVE the Dinosaur Train) and just observe their response. They waved at the screen and said “bye-bye” to their friends. I asked how they were feeling and they said they were happy, since Tiny made a new friend. They also emphasized how much they love their friends. And then noted that the dinosaurs would probably now have a bath, just like them.
    I am amazed at children and love being allowed to witness them as they experience this world of ours!

  2. Kathryn Says:

    It is indeed. I wonder if being siblings helps? Claire’s been talking a lot lately about being afraid of the dark, the night, being alone. This was an issue last summer, then abated. Now it’s back.

    Ah, life. What a ride it is, especially with kids!

  3. Sharon Says:

    I’m sure that it helps with saying good-bye, since they must do it 3 times a week when the older one goes off to preschool. They each enjoy having some alone time, but always ask about the other and can’t wait to be together again. Their hearts have definitely grown to love each other.

  4. Joyce Says:

    What a sweetly sensitive little heart she has. That is a precious gift. She is very lucky to have a Mommy who is also so sensitive to her. She will learn to trust and to value her feelings and this will serve as a reliable compass for her through life.