When I was between the ages of 10 and 12, my dad pulled me into his office and handed me a worry stone. He showed me how to rub my thumbprint back and forth and suggested I rub my worries away.
At the time, our family was struggling to navigate split households, broken hearts, and a never-ending ping pong match of the blame game. Yet, I was the only one offered this worry stone; my three siblings got off stone-free. I was the Worry Warrior of the family; the Caretaker dolling out loving emotions as fast as I could to repair the heartbreak our family endured.
I bet my dad was also trying to cure my homesickness. As if leaving one parent’s home and settling into the other’s was easy for anyone. I was an emotional mess on the precipice of every Sunday.
My adult self sees what my father was trying to do with presenting me with the worry stone. I rubbed the stone to (almost) its death, and cracked into four pieces! I never left the house without it in my pocket.
Years ago, I found and offered a piece of my worry stone to my own little Worry Warrior. And, last week at the beach, there was a very flat, very smooth shell (Alternate Tellin?) which reminded me of my worry stone; my thumbprint fit perfectly in the groove of the shell. I couldn’t stop collecting them, but this time it wasn’t for my own kids; they were for some of my high school students who are struggling. I hope a worry stone gives them the strength to battle their own worries and be brave in this post pandemic world.
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