Monday, January 9, 2012

Damage Control

Take it easy, man.

Nothing hurts more than seeing your own child suffer.  I’ve seen my kids through physical suffering like cuts and stubbed toes, sore throats and the aftermath of surgery.  Each incident causes me pain.

When children are emotionally distressed, the hurts are there, but submerged.  We’re not sure how deep they go, and the symptoms of a hurting child vary as widely as children do: some cry, others lash out, others are silent and withdrawn.  My children exhibit each one of these symptoms when they are hurting inside, and the cures are hard to come by.  Long gone are the days when a cry indicated hunger or an uncomfortable diaper.  The cures for today’s hurts are more complex, and they are beyond my reach.

I remember what being a kid was like – glee one day, gloom the next.  I carried my hurts throughout childhood and into adulthood like cherished possessions I am afraid of using for fear they might break.  I call it sensitivity, and I try using it to empathize with my kids about their myriad of hurts.  Most times I do not know if my empathy does any good, and it makes me wonder if dragging all that baggage around was for nothing.

Ultimately, I cannot make the hurts stop from happening.  Unfortunately, I will have to guide them through the motions of salving hurts that are so similar to mine that I can almost feel them again.  Unfortunately, what worked for me will not always work for them.  Unfortunately, my kids will have to suffer some things until they work them out on their own. 

When my kids work it out, the angels sing.  When they don’t, we buckle down, tuck in, and brainstorm another possible solution, another promising cure.  All that buckling and tucking is exhausting, but it is worth those few times we hear the songs. 

9 comments:

  1. Very true words. If there was a "like" button, I'd "like" this post, because other than agreeing and identifying, I have nothing else to day. Maybe an "amen" to your sentiments...

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  2. Thank you for the kind words. Some days, the only thing of comfort is knowing that I am in good company.

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  3. So true how they move from glee to gloom, and suppress a lot of what they are really feeling. Sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball to figure it all out and relate to them in the way they need to be related to!

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    1. It's those times when I wish my child had come with the instruction book. I am fairly adept at following instructions. The improvisation is what does me in.

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  4. It is really tough if you cannot fix it. Really tough. I hate when my child says things like, "I am stupid." "Nobody likes me."

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    1. Such ugly things to believe about yourself, and yet, so deeply felt. How does this happen to our children, and us?

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  5. Oh this!!!

    Most times I do not know if my empathy does any good, and it makes me wonder if dragging all that baggage around was for nothing.

    How that speaks to me.

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    1. It's so comforting to know that others share my point of view, but it can be so sad. What ever happened to our innocent, free-wheeling, lighthearted selves? Most of us didn't get enough time in that period. Either have our kids.

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