Need help figuring out adoption relationships? Schedule a complimentary consultation with Lori Holden, M.A.

Perfect Moment Monday: Meltdowns and Mirrors

I’d had some bad news. I hadn’t slept much the night before, worrying about all the changes that would ensue as a result of a conversation I’d  had. Though I know that somehow, things will be all right again time-wise, money-wise, family-wise, I allowed myself the luxury of feeling defeated, just for one day.

It took me two extra hours to get out of bed. The kids didn’t have school that day and they let me stay in bed, though I was too fretful to sleep.

I remained cranky all day. Never at them, but by virtue of snow and cold and proximity, they were forced to marinate in my foul mood. By late afternoon, I got out-of-proportion mad at about some cheese left on the counter. With a sharp voice I yanked both of them from what they were doing to my side in the kitchen, berating them for their carelessness. They dutifully (and fearfully) came to remedy the cheese.

And then I crumpled.

reflected in the eye of a childThey knew what was going on. They knew the situation. They had their own anxiety about it and about what it will mean for them. They were not surprised when my face broke, my voice broke, my tears fell. I remained standing in the middle of the kitchen and they moved in to support and comfort me. I’ll never forget the look of concern and love in their eyes as they looked up at me.

Usually our roles are reversed. I am the strong one comforting them, drying their tears, reflecting to them their own resilience, the knowledge that they will rise to the occasion they are dealing with and come out all right.

Tessa and Reed were so full of composure, compassion, strength, mastery. They told me everything will be okay, Mama.  They said We’ll be the grown ups for awhile. They added We’ll take care of the kitchen, Mama. You just rest now. You’re just having a bad day and things will be better soon. And they sweetly sent me to my room to take a nap. They looked up at me with wide, winsome, innocent yet knowing eyes and reflected to me myself. The good parts of myself.

It was the perfect time to see that, and the perfect manner, as well.


Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

On the last Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  • Follow
  • Write up your own Perfect Moment and post it on your blog (or other site).
  • Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or blog name), the URL of your Perfect Moment post, and a thumbnail image if desired. (**NEW: you can now put LinkyTools on your own Perfect Moment Monday post. Just click Get the Code Here and add the code to your own post.**)
  • Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

With your Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog (in the post, on the sidebar, or both).What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of?

The next Perfect Moment Monday event will begin May 27 (Memorial Day).

Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield /

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

New Posts Delivered to You

43 Responses

  1. So sweet. Just like Abby patting me and saying ‘I take care of you, Mom.’ I hope things are working out for you. I know you’ll make the best of whatever comes your way.

  2. Oh, thank you for sharing this! I’m totally new to mamahood and worry about my daughter seeing my tears, my anxiety, my stress. Thank you for reminding me, once again, that is not only ok but necessary to be human. Love and light to you in the stress and uncertainty you are facing. ~ Liz

  3. I can sympathize…I have had many of those moments in the past 8 months…and I am always surprised at how often we try to protect the children…when they often can be the ones protecting and comforting us!

    I hope whatever comes, it will resolve well!

  4. It takes great strength to show vulnerability, especially in front of our children. Kudos to you for allowing yourself to be a real human being in front of your kiddos, and to them for being so compassionate. You’re certainly doing something right to have such amazing children. 🙂

    1. I like the way you mention vulnerability, because that’s sometimes what’s missing in relationships. But when done mindfully, vulnerability makes things so much richer, doesn’t it?

  5. It’s the most bittersweet thing when your children comfort you – you don’t want to put your worries on them, but sometimes it’s impossible to avoid. At the same time, it’s such a good feeling when they try – you know that their most basic level of empathy has been developed.

  6. So thankful for Tessa and Reed for being your pillars of strength.

    I hope whatever is troubling you so much, whatever change that is, will not be as rough a transition as it seems to me.

  7. such sweetness. and empathy.
    and loveliness, in spite of the reason.
    here’s hoping this transition leads somewhere wonderful!

  8. I am so sorry you are going through this, but love that your children are helping you cope and comforting you. I agree with others who said it show you are human and that life is hard sometimes when you don’t hide your emotions from your children. You are such a wonderful example to them of how to deal with whatever happens in life and this is no exception. How Tessa and Reed reacted to your processing this bump in the road shows how well you have modeled and taught them to be caring and compassionate. Good job Mama! Sending lots of peace, love, light, thoughts and prayers your way as you navigate this transition in your life. xoxo

  9. Finding perfection in imperfection. Oh, you know I love this! A couple of things come up for me. 1) THIS is parenting. Sometimes we model holding it together. And sometimes we model how to fall apart without completely taking others down. Because let’s face it — that’s life. An “always strong” parent isn’t realistic, and kids can learn from our “weaknesses” as well as from our strengths. In this case, they learned (or already knew) that they could be the strong ones. They got a chance to practice compassion. 2) How SWEET to see the good parts of yourself reflected back at you in such a moment! Perfect indeed! 🙂

  10. it never ceases to amaze me : the amount of care and empathy that my sons have when I truly need it.
    I have had a horrible, depressing, incredibly yucky year this year and my sons have found the light for me, they have held me and made me laugh, they have seen to it that I don’t fall under the black cloud following me around.

    I loved every word of this, I loved how your children were the heroes that day (I do hope you are feeling better…sending hugs) but I adore how our children (all of them) teach us how to love and how to Move on some days.

  11. I’m so sorry you had one of those dreadful days. It sounds like there’s a lot going on at the moment and with times of turmoil come moments where we’re prone to meltdowns. But look at your amazing children!! How they stepped up and reflected back all that they’ve learned from their wonderful mother. To know how to support you and care for you in that moment when that’s what you most needed. That end result makes my heart soar and brings me so much hope.

  12. You are raising some pretty awesome kids! I hope your week has improved, but that you continue to always have the love and support of your family

  13. This is my first time doing Perfect Monday. Every Friday, I post an “End of the Week Bliss” so I hope it’s OK to tag that post instead of creating a new one on Mondays.

    My children are my strength! Anytime I’m having a bad day, I turn to them to brighten my day. They make me laugh and simply a hug from them is enough to change my mind set. I hope everything works out for the best and that your angels will continue to be there for you!

  14. Good job, Mama! They have learned that compassion and empathy from your example. It is such a strange feeling when your child sees you need something and rise to the occasion. It not only a defining moment but perfect as well.

  15. I was planning to stop by sooner. I am sorry that you are going through this difficult time. But thank you for reminding me of a sweet memory through my tears with my youngest daughter. I couldn’t stop crying. Chelsea was patting my back while saying, “Oh, mom, there must be medicine for this.” It turned out it was a medical problem; my hormones had dropped very low. We know we have done well when they are all grown up and we can recall that moment now with a smile and assurance. Sending you a hug, prayers and good thoughts your way my friend.

  16. This post is making me cry today. Your children did just what you’ve taught them … and also what is in them already. Beautiful. I love that they were able to embrace you that way.

    Sending love. xo

  17. Behind in my reading.

    Wow! Love you, love your kids. I hope things are better, or that better is on the horizon. But … wow … you are an awesome mom. As Mel said, very well raised. xoxo

  18. There is nothing wrong with losing it in front of your kids once in awhile. I know this because I am a kid (teen). It lets us know you’re real. From our point of view your the perfect human being. No matter what. It lets us know that in order to be perfect you need to let it all out once in awhile. You can’t hold it all in forever. Your kids know that you love them and when the bad moments come, they’ll be there for you like you’re there for them. (:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New Posts Delivered to You

Be the first to know about each new post. 

(Just a few each month.)