My daughter is strong, graceful, caring and lots of fun to be with. She lights up my life with her love and affection and I am so proud of her compassion and care for others. But on this day in March . . . well, you can see the results. Evidently she was running in the street and decided to dive onto the pavement face first. I wasn’t home. The sitter, who I trust implicitly with my children, called and said Hannah fell down and was fine but resting in my room with an ice pack on her face. Ok, no problem.
I certainly wasn’t expecting to find have her face covered in scrapes when I returned. I broke into tears. How could I not be hear to protect her, take care of her?
As moms, especially of young children, we coddle them, do everything we can to protect them from physical as well as emotional harm and take the best care of them that we know how to and possibly can. But sometimes, things happen – behind our backs, behind closed doors, even outside in our front drive. We can’t always be there, we can’t always protect them. The bubble boy proved that to us. It doesn’t make it any easier. And it doesn’t make us feel any less guilty even it was ABSOLUTELY not our fault or even in our control.So what do we do? Well, my take on it is that kids need to be prepared for the real world, without constant parental supervision. Meaning, we can’t wrap them in a bubble or even be with them all the time. We have to let them make their own mistakes, starting early and be there to help them cope, repair and overcome. I know this is a corny example, but it’s a visual. My daughter’s face healed completely. But for a week, she wore her hair (or tried to) over the right side of her face so no one would see. She was embarrassed, thought she was “ugly” and had a hard time dealing with the results of this fall.
My daughter is perfect in my eyes, even when she falls and skins up her face. Even when she is mean, even when she sasses me (I dread the teenager on the horizon.) She has my heart and I would do absolutely anything for her. But I will teach her to stand up for herself, to be proud of herself and to overcome the trials that life will certainly hand her. And I hope to teach her to do all that with the inner beauty she already possesses – compassion, love for others and strength.