I don’t know if it’s just that I’m more tuned into it but it seems like there has been a rash of anti-kid news lately. If it’s not someone getting angry looks for breastfeeding in public it’s airlines and restaurants contemplating “kid-free” areas and times of day. Now I know as well as anyone that a bratty kid can ruin a perfectly nice meal but that is beside the point. This isn’t really a diatribe on why these people are wrong, no this is a simple story to illustrate one of the many reasons why I think being a parent is all worth it.
Yesterday afternoon I was folding laundry and putting it away- a typical Monday afternoon. I walked into the closet and put away some socks in a drawer and for whatever mindless reason, I left the drawer open. So after bending down to put away a pair of shoes I stood up suddenly and *CRACK* my head slammed directly into the corner of the drawer. Now I’m not one to yell out in pain. Not even while laboring to 8cm without an epidural (that never really fully worked) during my last childbirth. But the sound that escaped my lips at that moment is something I’m quite certain could be heard 3 houses down.
Hubby and Andrew came running and thankfully no words were necessary to explain what happened. Crumpled on the floor, clutching my head, and glancing briefly at the still open drawer were all that was necessary to explain what happened. Hubs quickly assessed the situation and it struck me in that moment that he would have made a great doctor though now after consideration I realize that his ability to stay calm and cool under pressure is what makes him great at just about everything he does.
“Are you bleeding?” He asks.
“I don’t think so.” I reply as I remove my hands from the spot they had been clutching to reveal that yes, I was in fact bleeding quite a bit.
Andrew, who had just been watching this unfold darts off into his bathroom and retrieves his box of beloved Buzz and Woody band-aids, a box which inspired a string of delightfully creative manifestations of pain and discomfort on his part when he first got them. The same box which also inspired a rule in our house, “you don’t need a band-aid unless there’s blood.” Well he’d heard an utterance of the magic word and he was off to save the day.
Frantically ripping open band-aid after band-aid he took each one and inquired repeatedly on where he could put it to help make me feel better. He wanted desperately to fix my head for me. Finally, after opening at least 5 or 6 band-aids he found what he was looking for.
“Look Mommy! I found you a Jessie one. You like Jessie because she’s a girl and you’re a girl.”
Proud and certain that he could now fix me, he insisted that he must put the band-aid on me somewhere. I offered my hand, not quite willing to offer him a place on my head and hair for the sticky bandage. He was hesitant about putting it in the “wrong spot” but stuck the Jessie band-aid confidently on my hand.
“There, you feel better now, Mommy?”
But it was more a statement than a question. He did for me what I have done for him. The funny thing is, in that moment I did feel better even if I was still seeing stars.
Later that evening we went to dinner. I opened his door and unbuckled the bottom latch of his carseat which is still too tough for him to release on his own. He took my hand as we walked across the parking lot. He glanced down at the band-aid and finally addressed his concern.
“Mommy, how does it help your head if it’s on your hand?”
Good question little dude. Can’t fool you, can I?
“Well,” I replied, “When I look down at my hand I see it and it makes me think about how much I love you.”
“Oh Mommy, I really really love you.”
He smiled and squeezed my hand as I often do with his. He took on the role of mommy when mommy needed it and he expressed a love and concern so genuine that it could make anyone forget any problem in the world. I think it’s simple stories like this, of which I have hundreds, that are why people have kids in the first place. Sure there are long nights, gobs of laundry, butts to wipe, appointments and classes and trips to the zoo in the 100 degree summer heat but in the end it’s the little moments that make it all worth it.