Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sometimes You Have To Let Them Pick Themselves Up

It’s a mother’s instinct to run to their child when he/she falls down. Whether the fall is physical or not, we want to be there for our children – to pick them up, clean off the dirt, kiss the bruises, and tell them it’s going to be ok. It’s difficult to theorize, but for some reason it’s an involuntary response – some deep underlying force that fills you with a desire, or more appropriately, a necessity to instantaneously be at your child’s side when they need you.

The only problem with this instinct comes when it’s time for that child to learn, grow, or even just become their own person. Such was the case with Kaden this morning…

It was a normal morning in the Bradshaw home. By normal, I mean hurrying to eat breakfast, rushing upstairs to get boys dressed, enforcing the AM teeth-brushing chore, assisting our little kindergartner with his not-so-cooperative hair, running to get shoes on, and rushing out the door to get Kaden to school on time. As I said, it’s a normal morning routine.

We reached the school with just enough time for Kaden to run to class before the bell rang. We said our “goodbyes” and “I love you’s”. He jumped out of the car and started running. He caught up to a little girl that looked just about the same age as himself. He patiently waited like a true gentleman as the girl slowly meandered to the crosswalk. He even walked behind her through the majority of the crosswalk. Then he got impatient.

He saw his chance to pass and decided to take it. He passed on the right and ran to the sidewalk on the other side. But he miscalculated the distance needed to clear the sidewalk on the other side. His foot caught the curb and sent him sprawling to his knees, then his hands, then finally to his stomach.

On most days I watch Kaden from the car until he reaches the door to the school. Today was no different. I sat in the car, watched the whole display, and my heart jumped. It ached for me to get out of the car, run to my little boy and do all of the things that the “mother’s instinct” tells us to do.

I sat there, torn, watching as he got up, embarrassed. I sat there, desperately fighting the urge to run to him as he gingerly started walking, checking his hands and knees for scrapes and bruises. I sat there, absolutely hurting for my baby as he got to his classroom door and banged on it so he didn’t have to heave the heavy door open with his already aching hands. I sat there, telling myself, “It’s good for him to learn to be a big boy,” all while the instinct in me was screaming, “But he’s not a big boy – He’s my baby.”

Why? Why is it necessary to sometimes fight the natural urge as a loving mother to reach out for your little one? Why does it have to be so absolutely painful to have to watch as a child gets hurt, but know that it isn’t the right time to run to them? My only answer to that question is that it’s Heavenly Father’s way of teaching us. He’s trying to show us what He sees on a daily basis. And he’s giving us the ability to feel a portion of the kind of love he has for all of us. I guess if I look at it that way, I am grateful after all for these difficult incidents. They truly are teaching experiences.


Kayla said...

Just kiss the bruises and bumps when he gets home from school!!!

Tresa said...

He is getting so big. Tell him we love him.