Falling / by Kate Brightbill


You know those padded toddler rooms? The kind where everything is soft and there is no great danger to little cuties who are not quite steady on their feet?

I think sometimes that we need one of those. 

Tonight we took an evening adventure around the city, and as my Maggie started down a tall flight of stairs, I said a heartfelt prayer for her safety. She is incredibly capable for her age, and willing to try anything and run faster than anyone... resulting in fall after fall after fall. As she went just ahead of me on the stairs, I said to myself that I needed to get in front of her... but I wasn't fast enough. 

And she fell. 

One stair. That's all she fell. She could have fallen down 20 cement stairs, and she fell one. She scuffed her cheek and nose {again}, but she only fell one stair. And I picked her up and kissed her and hugged her and tears rolled down my cheeks. I was relieved. I was overwhelmed with gratefulness. I was overwhelmed with the way this parenting thing is SO HARD sometimes.

I know they have to grow up. I know will be in situations that we are not there and they could fall hard and be very hurt. It can be physical or emotional, but there will be moments that I can't protect them. And it hurts because I want so badly to protect them from it all. I wanted to move faster, to stand in front of her and catch her. But I wasn't and I didn't. I couldn't get there in time. 

Sometimes I want to stick my children and a soft, fluffy room, where they cannot get hurt. They can play and be happy and smile and never be harmed. It's not real though. Growing pains are our teachers, and making decisions and learning from the consequences of those decisions are the pieces of life that build character. The pieces that build strength. 

The padded room isn't the solution. It may protect for a time, but it doesn't teach

There are hard, painful things in the world, but the way to protect is to let my children adventure, experience, and sometimes get hurt... and be there right beside them when they do. Be there with them to dry their eyes and hug them and hold them and kiss them and love them with my whole heart. And repeat. Over and over.  

My other job is to praying for them every day, because the one who created them loves them with all His heart too. And I am SO grateful for that truth as well. So, so grateful.