The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little

I write this on the morning of September 4th. Many have sent children of varying ages off to their first of day school from preschool to college. Even if we do not or no longer send children off to school, we are none-the-less affected by the start of the new school year.

Jan Kwiatkowski, LMFT, is a psychotherapist and mental health consultant for Aurora Family Service in Milwaukee, WI.

Whether you’ve experienced the back-to-school chaos that comes with making sure that lunches are in backpacks and actually taken to school, the kids get on the right bus, or the unanticipated length of time it now takes you to get to work because of new school traffic, it’s a day and season when lots of little things can bring delight or madness.

It’s those little things and the attitude we choose that that matters. The seemingly small choices we make moment to moment make a big difference in our day and more importantly in our relationships.

We can:

Be frustrated with the little one who is suddenly not so happy about you not staying at school OR we can be grateful that our little ones trust us enough to be “little ones”.

Tap our fingers on the steering wheel and mutter to ourselves, while the crossing guard seems to take forever to get the kids across the street and then waits for the stragglers OR we can be grateful that there is someone who will get to know these children and watch out for them (especially the stragglers) in a world that can be a scary place for children and adults.

Complain that it always gets hot when the school year starts OR we can celebrate a few more days of leaving home sweatshirt free, eating dinner outdoors and maybe even doing some homework outside.

Make mental notes about the staff members who seem a bit distracted during meetings these first few weeks, OR remember when we were a parents employed outside the home, and do some small things to support our staff.

Try to get through the grocery line as quickly as possible OR let someone who looks in a hurry, go ahead of us.

These little things go far in building relationships and communities that we actually want to be part of. What little things have people done that meant a lot or made your day? What are some things you do, for your family or for strangers? I’m curious and will look forward to your wisdom on the little things that makes life better.

If you or your family are experiencing painful transitions and need additional help or support on getting through whatever it is, it is OK to seek some counseling help. Give us a call at Aurora Family Service, 414-345-3500.

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