Friday, April 20, 2012

bumps and bruises . . .

In one hour of play today, Liam has fallen countless times and hit his head or his face at least five times, crying for less than a minute each time. He even rolled onto his face one time and cut the inside of his lip with his little tooth. He just whimpered that time because it wasn't a hard fall, he just rolled at the exact right angle. Now that Liam is crawling and pulling up, he LOVES to be standing and cruise the  world  ottoman because he has learned there's a whole other perspective up there!

And all this crawling and pulling up and standing has led to more falls and rolls and tumbles . . . inevitably bumps and bruises are in our future. And that's ok.

The first night Liam and I returned from Georgia, Keith and I decided that we would let Liam cry it out that night to help with his self-soothing. Because I was jet-lagged Keith let me go to bed while he stayed up watching the monitor and listened to Liam. The next night we did it together and I asked Keith how he could stand to hear Liam cry, all alone the night before while I slept soundly . . . he said that the one thought that kept him from going to pick up Liam was that this would not be the hardest thing we go through with our son.

I think about that statement a lot since then. First, because my husband was so strong and realized that the bigger picture and ultimate goal was worth the temporary heartache he was enduring. Second, because he is so right.

Letting Liam grow up means that there will be times he is hurt, both physically and emotionally -- and as his parents we can be there and soothe his pains, but in no way can we prevent most of them. Pain is a part of life and it's important for him to learn to endure and recover. And watching him in pain is teaching me to endure and recover as well.

Being a parent is not easy by any means and I know it's only going to get tougher. There are much harder decisions to be made than "cry it out." There will be worse cries than those from falls or tumbles. Kisses might heal knees, but there will be some things that parents can't make better. And I've got to be ok with that.

But for now I will kiss and hug and hold, while he still lets me.


1 comment:

  1. You are both very wise, my friends. It is so hard to let your little one become a person who can deal with setbacks but it is the greatest lesson. I remember distinctly, as if it were yesterday, listening to Brent "cry it out". I loved our doctor and he said that babies discover that they are separate entities around 7/8 months and initially it is unnerving but after a short time, it is invigorating which is the start to becoming a unique individual. He said this is one of a parent's first gifts to their develop an ability to cope and rely on self. Brent is now a successful chemical engineer who is responsible for people's safety and profits in production. I am so happy that we gave him that initial gift of self reliance