Ava, after meeting the train table
(gratuitous blue paint on the nose...always one for color)
Notice how she has a little smile on her face...it's so common place now. After all, they are genetically mine...I grew up with a mother who always had bruises, I always have bruises, I *still* smirk when I think of my brother at age eight, walking around the mall and SMACK...right into a light pole. WHILE LOOKING AT IT APPROACH! Like Laurel and Hardy we are....and it's continued through the ages. Josh was seven or so, when pausing during a walk through the mall, that he was STANDING STILL, and his feet FLEW out from under him so that he landed on his side. He was as stunned as I was. Rachel on heelies is one for the record books. Sam broke his leg at the age of 18 months (although to be fair, he was jumping off the dining room table, not exactly an innocent pasttime) Ava earned this bruiser kissing the train table in the basement, face first. At least once a day she runs to me mourning another painful experience.
What I appreciate most about this that despite the ongoing battle, they do not fear. They don't shrink from life...they don't stop running and playing and falling and bleeding. My heart stops every time I see one of them running full steam on concrete, just sure that someone is going to lose an inch of flesh when they fall. My stomach drops a little with every wound, feeling pain deep in my mommy nerves.
I suck it up. I empathize with them, but I don't express my fears...they are mine to own, and out of all the things to share, this isn't one of them. I don't want them to fear life...I want them to run headlong into the joy and passion of living it, so that when they are older, they can make choices based on desire, not of fear. I don't want them to look back with regrets on the choices they made. As adults, how many of our choices are made from fear?
Naomi Aldort's book, Raising our Chidren, Raising Ourselves, speaks about the emotional aspects of inducing fear. I think the same thing can be said for play...when parents deny, avoid and distract children from taking risks...they induce fear into those actions. Children will respond by losing security or by gaining aggression. This risks becoming a life-long habit. Funny how the physical edition of her S.A.L.V.E. are so innate for me, but I'm having so much trouble with the emotional part. :-)