Several years ago, one of our 6th graders was about to take the stage to present on a topic she had researched over the course of several months to an audience of nearly 100 people. She was 12, dressed up for the presentation, and about to stand in front of the largest crowd she had ever had to address. She was about to do what statistically is considered one of our greatest fears; public speaking. All of our 6th graders go through this rite of passage called, Senior Project.
She looked a little jittery, and I asked how she was doing. “I’m nervous-cited,” she said with a smile and then walked onto stage and blew us all away. Bright, composed, prepared, and very nervous-cited.
I LOVED this new word she introduced me to. Nervous-cited; the feeling of being both nervous and excited! My family uses it all the time now. It is such a playful way of explaining that in most moments in life, we aren’t just feeling one emotion. We are a mixture of often conflicting emotions. For instance, “I can’t wait for school to start” while also feeling, “I don’t want summer to end.” Or, “I am excited to see my friends” AND “I am nervous to see my friends.” Or if you are a parent dropping your child off for the first time, “Thank goodness we are finally here” AND ” I don’t want them to ever leave me.” We are such a delightful, complicated mix of emotions. Honor this within yourself, and be sure to let your children know their conflicting emotions are “normal” and helpful as they continue to grow and develop.