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On Being Brave

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I’ve learned a thing or two about small-scale bravery these last few weeks. My morning wake-up call is a bag of frozen peas to the belly, a swab of alcohol, a syringe and a prick. I do my best to take the burning in stride, but I’m not ashamed to admit there have been more than a few mornings of tears.
But the evening shot experience is a bit different. It’s a family affair. Mary at my forehead, stroking my hair, “be ‘bwave’, mommy”; Emma sitting at my side holding my hand, sympathetically mirroring my grimaces and contortions while the burning medicine slides in under my skin.
Suddenly, in a moment, the roles have changed. I’m the child being coaxed into bravery and calm by my children who clench their teeth alongside me and whisper encouraging words in my ear.  They’ve watched these shots so closely that they can reenact every step of the process. In fact, they act it out together on occasion: Mary with a mock bag of peas on her belly, emma with her swab of alcohol. Pinch, blow. One, two three, prick. Hold it. Hold it. Great job. Ice again.

These shots suck. There’s no way around it. But in some odd way, having my children gathered around me, being brave and strong for me, makes it all worthwhile. If given the opportunity, I don’t think I’d trade in the shots and risk losing these moments.
I’m not always sure what my girls are learning from this. Perhaps, that their mommy is a weakling, or that she cries a lot or makes funny noises when she’s in pain.

But I hope that I’m teaching them how to be brave in the midst of a little discomfort. And even more so, I’m proud that they are learning the all-important art of comforting. They are fantastic at it. There is something precious about being comforted by your children. A fragile moment where you just want to hold your breath and hope it doesn’t slip away too quickly.

The picture above, although blurry and taken in unnatural light is my view during these moments: a strong little hand to hold, a bag of peas under a dishtowel, and a smiley face sticker awarded to me for a job well done. 

And I still don’t know who’s braver—me or them.

P1010006_5

I’ve learned a thing or two about small-scale bravery these last few weeks. My morning wake-up call is a bag of frozen peas to the belly, a swab of alcohol, a syringe and a prick. I do my best to take the burning in stride, but I’m not ashamed to admit there have been more than a few mornings of tears.
But the evening shot experience is a bit different. It’s a family affair. Mary at my forehead, stroking my hair, “be ‘bwave’, mommy”; Emma sitting at my side holding my hand, sympathetically mirroring my grimaces and contortions while the burning medicine slides in under my skin.
Suddenly, in a moment, the roles have changed. I’m the child being coaxed into bravery and calm by my children who clench their teeth alongside me and whisper encouraging words in my ear.  They’ve watched these shots so closely that they can reenact every step of the process. In fact, they act it out together on occasion: Mary with a mock bag of peas on her belly, emma with her swab of alcohol. Pinch, blow. One, two three, prick. Hold it. Hold it. Great job. Ice again.

These shots suck. There’s no way around it. But in some odd way, having my children gathered around me, being brave and strong for me, makes it all worthwhile. If given the opportunity, I don’t think I’d trade in the shots and risk losing these moments.
I’m not always sure what my girls are learning from this. Perhaps, that their mommy is a weakling, or that she cries a lot or makes funny noises when she’s in pain.

But I hope that I’m teaching them how to be brave in the midst of a little discomfort. And even more so, I’m proud that they are learning the all-important art of comforting. They are fantastic at it. There is something precious about being comforted by your children. A fragile moment where you just want to hold your breath and hope it doesn’t slip away too quickly.

The picture above, although blurry and taken in unnatural light is my view during these moments: a strong little hand to hold, a bag of peas under a dishtowel, and a smiley face sticker awarded to me for a job well done. 

And I still don’t know who’s braver—me or them.

28 comments on “On Being Brave”

  1. yeah, I’m feeling weepy.

    Someone recently said to me, “my son makes me so strong.” I corrected her. “no, honey, he just shows you how strong you can be.” I’ll never stop being amazed at what being parents bring out in us or the deep love they reflect in us. Uh… Okay, I’m out of profound things to say. 😐

  2. you choked me up.i think they are going to see how desipite all the pain, discomfort, and possibly complications that go into bringing a sweet life into the world, it’s more than worth it.

    I think they will see that there are a lot of things in this world that can be painful, that are still valuable.

    i think they will learn great things don’t come with out sacrifice.

    okay i’m choking up again.

  3. Compassion is what they’ve learned and it’s so beautiful. Ok now I’m going to cry, but not before I say how brave I think all of you are. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Beatiful gift you’re giving those girls. If you ever wonder, during those dark nights when it just doesn’t seem like you’re doing a good job… think of this time. You are a great parent to all three. Blessed family you have there.

  5. You are brave. Brave because you have to get poked all the time and brave because it is really scary when anything is not “normal” when there is a baby involved. I think this is a great way for the girls to learn compassion which will serve them well through their whole lives. I will think of you tomorrow morning and send some peaceful vibes your way so that it hopefully won’t hurt so much!

  6. beautiful post.my heart is full.it’s pretty wonderful that your girls are helping you through this.this is what life is all about!

  7. What sweet girls you have and what a brave mommy indeed. This story brought tears to my eyes. Love is all I could think of…beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I’m so sorry that you have to go through this Molly. You are being so brave and I’m sure that that is what the girls are learning – that they have an incredibly brave mom, who’s not afraid to show that there are times when we all need a hand to hold (no matter how small). xoxox

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