I was leaving in my rental car...driving down the street after pulling out of my kids' driveway, headed to the Portland Airport. It was raining. My granddaughter ran beside my car in her polka dot dress..barefoot.. yelling "don't leave, I love you gramma...I love you gramma". She was on the sidewalk.
I had to stop at the sign before turning right...my window was down. I saw her eyes filled with tears...and absolutely saw her choke down that cry. She waved....I blew her a kiss and turned right.
What I wish I'd done...and I knew it right at that stop sign...was to jump out of that car...run a few steps to her..pick her up and tell her I was sad too..and it was okay to be sad..and that I'll be back soon..like always...but I didn't do it. Stupid me...I was afraid of making things worse. How can it be bad to validate what someone is going through?
That is how we women learn to swallow our feelings...and model it for the little girls, and boys, in our lives.