One of the best movies ever made is Die Hard. It is our family favourite and we watch it every Christmas Eve. It’s got everything: Action, great one-liners and, if nothing else, Bruce Willis wearing a very tight singlet. If you haven’t seen Die Hard (what?!?!), it’s about a guy called John McClane who attempts to save his wife and free the hostages from the clutches of some very bad guys just before Christmas. There is one scene in the movie that gets me every time. After Mr McClane has bravely fought his way through wave after wave of the bad guys, (wearing the aforementioned singlet), he finally manages to free the hostages and get them to the roof to be rescued by an FBI helicopter. Alas the FBI mistakes him for one of the terrorists and shoot at him instead. The freed hostages are forced to leave the roof and go back into the building and it feels like poor McClane is back at square one. He’s exhausted, frustrated and disappointed (to say the least!).
And that is probably how many in Auckland felt when they heard that the move from level 4 to level 3 effectively means lockdown life continues for another two weeks at least. After bravely battling through uncertainty, worry and a mountain of chocolate (not to mention the many bottles of PVA glue and glitter), we've been eagerly awaiting our ‘rescue’. But it would seem that our liberation is still a wee while off. While takeaways may be back on the menu, the bubbles remain.
If we – the grown-ups – are feeling disappointed and frustrated, how are our children going to feel when they realise that they still won’t be able to see their friends in person, go to the park with their neighbours or visit their grandparents? And worse, how are we going to help our kids to deal with their disappointment if we can’t deal with our own? It can be incredibly difficult when our children experience uncomfortable feelings, mostly because we ourselves know how unpleasant those feelings are! So, a bit like John McClane, we tend to want to rush in and save the day. We want to problem-solve and fix things for our kids so that they can feel better quickly. But the truth is, disappointment is an unavoidable reality. It’s a fact of life!