(How I yearn for the care-free, innocent moments...)Last winter, I was riding behind Ben on our four-wheeler with Annie snug between us. We were pulling the boys around on a sled through the snow. Every crazy turn or bump Annie would whimper and her body would stiffen. She was scared. I remember holding her tight, reassuring her, "Don't worry, Annie. I won't let anything hurt you. Mommy's got you. It's okay."
Every so often it hits me that I can't make promises like that. Things can and will hurt my kids and in some cases, I'm helpless to prevent it. As their mother I'm not immune to feeling those hurts right along with them. I didn't really understand how badly a heart could hurt for someone else. I'm learning this as a parent. Others learn it down other roads. To love someone so much and to see their little soul feeling pain, emotional pain...it's hard to keep the tears at bay.
When my kids were younger--well, some still are very young--I could make them feel better with hugs and kisses. "Make the owie go away." Have you heard that before? I could do it. And off they ran, smiling as if nothing happened.
My heart hurts for my kids as they get older and I can't kiss the owies away. I can't prevent them from feeling certain ways. Not that I'm doubtful or hopeless. Life is meant for these things. Learning what things feel like, learning that some things will bring happiness while others, only sorrow. But it's still so hard.
I'm struggling with a little guy who's blinded to all that is good in him. He sees failure and frustration. I'm hurting for him. His feelings are so debilitating and so real (to him). I wish I could open his eyes to see things as they REALLY are.
I'm ever-learning how to handle this situation effectively because I was a kid who thought I could do no wrong. I went through life thinking everyone loved me (I stress the "thinking" part). I had a pretty unbreakable wall of confidence. He and I have a hard road to walk together. Lots of learning, lots of stretching.
Pray for us. I'm sure all of us struggle through things like this in one form or another. I don't feel alone. These are one of the "hard knocks", so to speak. I am anxious for the day when we feel we've overcome this bump--or should I say mountain--in the road.
Until then...onward, ever onward, right?