Translated from Spanish, this childhood saying loosely means, "Get better, get better, little frog's tail. If it doesn't get better today, I hope it gets better tomorrow." That, combined with a big, soft hug, usually makes even the worst owie all better. It's something my grandmother and mother said to me when I had a scraped knee or a bonked head and now I find myself reciting it to Joe.
While Joe is still very young, he's becoming more mobile, and therefore getting himself into some sticky situations. While I caught him before he completely rolled off the bed the other day, there have been times that he manages to do complete face plants while practicing his scooting. Other times, he takes a serious tumble from one position to the next, while mastering yet another new skill -- sitting up. These booboos are a natural part of growing up for Joe and for me they represent entry into a new stage of motherhood.
I could cover the apartment in bubble wrap, sand down all sharp edges and corners, and have Joe wear a helmet and knee pads at all times, but I'm not. As a mom, it's hard to see your baby go through any pain at all - this from the woman who barely made it through her son's first set of shots without bawling.
There will be many times that Joe will inevitably get hurt in life. I'm sure he'll get stitches at some point -- as most boys do. His father had his fair share. But I cannot be afraid to let him be a child. I must fight the urge to be that over-protective mother, and just let him be a kid. It's a fine line that us mother's must walk.
And, there won't be just physical owies that he must handle. There will be ones of the heart as well. I cannot keep him from getting teased on the playground, or from experiencing the pain of heartbreak, no matter how much I may want to, because these are all experiences that shape us into well-rounded adults. Pain is a natural part of life, unfortunately.
What I can give him is love, support and that ever-so-underestimated tool -- motherly advice, to help him get through the tough times. Our hope as parents is to create an open environment where our child feels comfortable coming to us with his problems, his worries, his feelings in general, and is not embarrassed but rather knows we are here to help.
In the meantime, can someone get us some Band-Aids?
|Christina Montoya Fiedler resides in Los Angeles, CA, with husband Andy and her son Joseph. She juggles baby and work from home as a freelance publicist and attributes her strong love for life and sense of humor to her loving familia.|