Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Being a normal kid.

I knew this would happen.

On Sunday my five year old and I went out to get a new pair of shoes for her. Her old ones were pretty small and she needs something she can run and play in, so we picked out her first "real" athletic shoes. Prior to this pair, she had shoes that she could run in, but they were not athletic brands - they were kid friendly brands for growing feet.

I was surprised that she needed a size bigger than I had anticipated and worried that we were getting them too big... AND they already have more bulk on the bottom than she's used to because they are running-type shoes... BUT she loved them and declared them "PERFECT!" so off we went...

Of course she was very excited to wear them to school on Monday and was already talking about how fast she'd be able to run in them. On Monday morning I asked her to not try to run her fastest until she was sure she could walk in her new shoes because they were very different from her old pair and if she tried to do too much too fast she would fall. She listened intently and repeated what I had said back to me when I asked, so we said our good-byes and she went on with her school day.

All day long, even as I'm going about my business with my toddler, I was thinking about my big girl and her new big girl shoes. I had visions of her running and falling on her playground and being all banged up and crying when I went to go pick her up that day. She is my first child so of course I am very protective of her, but I think I am even more so because of what we went through when I was pregnant with her. She is also very sensitive and I just can't stand the thought of her being hurt.

So I go to pick her up from school and see her sitting nicely at a table looking at a book - perfectly happy and normal. But as she turns to get out of her chair, I see the bandage on her knee... And the scrape on her elbow... And she looks at me like, "you said this would happen..."

The first thing she says to me is, "I fell." No tears, just very matter-of-factly. I wanted to inspect every inch of her right there and hug her and have her give me a play by play of what happened, but I didn't. I held it together and we gathered her belongings and headed home as we do on any other day. Except for her exaggerated limp, that is ("I can't walk normal with a band-aid on!").

We casually talked about what happened, how it happened, where it happened - and WHY it happened. She was very mature about it and didn't fault her beloved shoes at all. She was not happy with her scrapes and wanted to know when they would go away and how long they would hurt. And as I'm explaining to her that this is a normal thing that every kid goes through, I think, "Awesome! She is a normal kid!"

But the heavier thought I have is, "We are going to have this conversation several more times in the future, aren't we?" Because I know this isn't the last time I am going to guide her through a hurt and help her understand her pain. I just hope and pray that we can always talk about it this way, and that I can continue to keep it together enough to rejoice in the fact that she is just a normal kid.

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