Last week I received some disappointing news about my job: I have to change departments. It isn't the end of the world but it also isn't something I would've sought out for myself. I really like the team I'm currently with and the work I currently do. I was not looking to make a change. Change is hard.
Soooo, I was talking with my husband, processing all of my BIG feelings about the pending change, and I rashly spewed out some words that sounded like, "What if they don't like me and I get fired?!?!" Now, I don't really believe my personality and work habits will get me fired, but at that moment, I was feeling vulnerable and scared (because change is HARD), and I just wanted my husband to comfort me. Which he did...VERY WELL! He hugged me tightly and told me that I could quit my job and work on getting my book published! Oh yes he did, that amazing man o'mine! That was all I needed...for him to say, with true Marley optimism, "Don't worry, about a thing, cuz every little thing, is gonna be alright." And I truly believe it will be. (Having faith in my journey...read about that here.)
Back to my rumor. There are these little people living in my house. Sometimes I don't even realize they're hovering nearby during these important, emotional conversations with my husband, or when I'm chatting on the phone with a friend. Usually it's because these conversations happen when I'm juggling a stack of dirty dishes, or a hamper full of their laundry, or I'm moving from one room to the next cleaning up their messes. Sometimes I just don't see them trailing me, circling my feet, listening with their little ears. Apparently, my middle child was tailing me, (stealthily on the lookout for falling candy or money, I'm sure) when he heard me say a string of words that ended with "FIRED."
In the week that has passed since, not once has any little person in my house asked me about my job. No, "Hi mom, how was work today?" or "Mom, did you hire a lot of people today?" Not even a "Hey mom, are you going to get fired anytime soon? Just want to get my back pay of allowance before the well runs dry, know what I mean?" No. Not one child even alluded to the fact that I was changing things up at work. But they were talking...oh boy, were they talking.
Yesterday at pick up, a very good friend asked me, in a concerned tone, "Hey, how's everything going for you?" I explained that I would soon be changing departments at work and I was a bit worried about it because (have I said this already?) CHANGE IS HARD, and that's when the rumor was revealed. My poor boys had told her LAST WEEK, that I was going to get fired from my job. They were worried. Two things happened right at that moment: I laughed out loud, astounded at the ridiculous rumor they had started, and I cried silently, heartbroken that they were secretly carrying that burden, believing that their stable, happy world would soon change. (Change is especially hard for little people.)
After assuring her all was well and thanking her for encouraging them to fact-check (which they hadn't done yet), I gathered my children and headed back to the nest. First, I huddled them close and asked them some questions: yes, they thought I was going to be fired soon and yes, they knew that mom and dad would always take care of them, no matter what. Then I answered theirs: no, I was not going to be fired soon and yes, I would promptly pay them the allowance I owed them. I apologized for not being cautious with my words and worrying them, we had a lesson on exaggeration, and they promised to always ask questions before sharing our family stories. It was a good talk.
As they ran off to play outside, I was proud that my mistaken rumor turned into a good learning experience for all of us. My kids learned about open communication and I learned that as long as I try my hardest and do my best work at my most important job - being their mama - well, then every little thing is gonna be alright.