I stubbed my toe this morning. It hurt and I cussed under my breath (ok, maybe not so much under my breath). When the pain subsided, and I was fine, I had a thought that really surprised me.
I don’t want Grayson to ever have to feel the pain of stubbing his toe.
What?! That was a really random thought, I thought. Have I really become that mommy, the one who is horrifed at the thought of her child in any sort of pain, no matter how minor and short lived? Maybe.
Maybe it’s because I feel guilty- guilty that in his four, almost five, short months on this earth, Grayson has already had to endure pain- he’s had several IVs which took several attempts to insert correctly, two spinal taps (one successful), routine vaccination shots, and last Friday, he had to have FOUR vials of blood drawn, and in the process blew three veins. Four vials of blood at a time seems like a lot for an adult to have drawn, let alone a confused, hurting, screaming infant.
I know I shouldn’t feel guilty, that it’s not the appropriate emotion, since all of this pain has either saved his life, is preventing life-threatening diseases, or is helping diagnose what is wrong with him so we can help him live a productive, happy life.
And he is happy, laughing more and becoming more and more curious about his world every day. Just like I have no lasting pain from stubbing my toe this morning, Grayson doesn’t remember the needles, the blood, or the stinging. Even the bruises on his little arms are gone. He’s ok.
When I taught 4th grade, any time one of the kids was “hurt” at recess (a scrape, a bump, or a scratch) my standard reponse to their pitiful complaining was, “Oh, just go put some water on it.” Usually, a wet paper towel on their skin had magical healing powers. I wish I had a magical wet paper towel right now that I could wipe on Grayson’s eyes to make them see, to wipe on his neck to make it sturdy, and to wipe all over his future to prevent hurt feelings, broken hearts, and pain.
But I don’t want Grayson to be a wuss, either. I want him to get a scar that has a really cool story behind it, to spend his summers with skinned knees and dirty hands, and for him to ask out that cute girl in his class even though she may reject him.
So I guess this is normal for being a mom- knowing in my head and heart that my child has to hurt sometimes in order to heal, and to bleed to become tough. But that doesn’t make it any less hard, and heartbreaking, to see him go through it.