A little boy mourns the old home he has left behind & the world seems very grey. But grandpa walks beside him & holds his hand. They enter a charity shop, with boxes full of old things waiting to be seen with new eyes. Grandpa shows him a dull looking rock, but inside it are crystals that shine with a thousand stars. Together they continue to explore the city & all the while, the boy can feel the rock, safe in his pocket. A reminder that magic can be found in the most ordinary of places, & that life feels lighter when we have hope.
Moving house, feeling sadness for what is left behind & adapting to new places can be hard for any child. How much more so, for a child with developmental trauma, who has had multiple losses in the past? Repeated exposure to trauma in early life can lead to hypersensitivity in the nervous system & brain for signs of danger & this can continue even when a child is safe in a new home. Learning to trust & to be open to relationships & the outside world, is a frightening prospect for a child who has been let down in the past, & who may have had repeated moves in the care system.
The geode analogy is used in therapy, to give hope that there can be healing. The geode is a symbol for trauma & adversity & the invitation is to metaphorically crack it open, to discover the truth about who we really are. Whilst the exterior is rough, it holds inside the possibility for expansion & transformation. When we embrace it, we can find what sparkles in our lives & a new sense of self.
Grandpa’s Gift offers a gentle & child friendly version of this analogy. Opportunities to show our willingness to walk alongside our sad & frightened child & help them to find new signs of safety & beauty in their lives. Together we can co-create new meanings & see things differently – just like the boy & his grandad.