I have always been a very nurturing mother, one who runs to my daughter at the first sign of tears. I hug and kiss away the boo-boos and rock her and rub her back until she is comforted.
Leah, however, has been wearing the nurturer in me quite thin with her dramatics lately! If she is genuinely hurt, of course I feel awful. I never wanted to be the mom that says, “Oh, your fine!” Seriously, though, she is usually always fine! She has been full-out crying and making her pitiful face for every tiny little bump or fall lately and it is driving me crazy!
I don’t even know what it is she did at dinner tonight, if anything, but all of a sudden she was saying her finger hurt and she was starting up the water works yet again. When it happens multiple times per day it gets old. It is hard not to turn into ‘Tough It Out Mommy’ who tells their kid to walk it off, and the truth is that sometimes I do.
The other day I was walking on a sidewalk with my mom and Leah was ahead, holding hands with my step-dad on one side, and Dave on the other. They were swinging her, and I saw the whole thing happen as though in slow motion- they swung, but for whatever reason Leah let herself go slack rather than lifting her legs, and they instead got scraped along the ground. I immediately knew that she was hurt, for real. Dave tried to pick her up, but she pushed him away. My mom went to bend down and put her arms out, but before she could even complete the maneuver Leah had found her way to me through her tears and was up in my arms.
I knew what she needed were hugs, kisses, and reassurances that she would be okay first. Once most of her tears were kissed away, a kind stranger passing by offered us a Band-Aid from her purse, which we really needed since one little knee was bleeding.
As we continued down the walkway, I carried Leah for as long as I could, resting one of her legs over my big, pregnant belly. For every fifteen overly dramatic freak-outs over stubbing her toe on a pillow, there is one instance where my child truly hurts herself. And having to put up with the drama is completely worthwhile when she always chooses me to be the one who comforts and kisses her hurt away. Although a mother never wants to see her child hurting, one of the joys of motherhood is feeling needed.