Parental Rite of Passage

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Stitches, my friends, friggin’ STITCHES! 

Here is how it went down:  We were in a shoe store, I hear a CLANK behind me and turn around to find Jaden on the floor, holding her chin.  She tripped on her own two feet, fell and hit a metal bench in the store, splitting open her little chin. 

Now, with her hands covering it, I didn’t know how bad it was until I asked her to move her hands.  And, wait for it, I made the rookie move of letting the absolute terror of seeing her fleshy gash and gushing blood show on my face.  Of course, she was looking at my face of shock and terror and responded in kind. 

So I got my sh*t together.  After picking up her 40 pound body and walking briskly to the car, loading her up and racing to the doctor, I had calmed down.  She, of course was still freaking out.  So I climbed in the backseat, looked her in the eyes and say  “Baby, look at my face.  I am not afraid.  You will be okay. I know this.  Look into my eyes.”  She calmed down and proceeded to power through five stitches and dermaglue for the next hour and a half. 

This was helped tremendously by Jeanne, the rockstar nurse practitioner who is also a family friend.  Jaden knows her son, who is around the same age, and they have played together.  Jeanne was awesome and had a straight-talking “let’s break it down” conversation with Jaden too, laying out what would happen and what she needed her to do.  I stood on one side with my left hand on her forehead and my right holding her two little hands.  She squeezed my hand a lot and wiggled her toes in an effort to not move her chin while Jeanne was at work.  Her little face was serene, fearless, trusting.

Afterwards, I thought I would cry.  I waited for the rush of emotion at seeing my reason for being a mom under such duress and braving it out in a way I never would have expected and felt dumb for not considering.  I didn’t.  What I do have is this hot, searing memory of her face, her disposition, her strength in a terrible situation.  What I come away with is the ass-kicking reminder that she was born with her own soul, her own programming that will educate me in ways I can only begin to comprehend. 

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