If you have ever helped a young child try to be brave while having their blood drawn or an x-ray taken in a very dark room then you know some of what I experienced last Friday. You wish in your heart that you could take their place so that they don’t have to go through it. I realize that in the big picture of medical procedures that a child could go through these are minor. However, for the child who was told that she was only going to the doctor to all of a sudden have to go to two separate buildings for these minor events is very frightening. After it was all said and done with tears dried and ice cream in hand the questions came forth.
Daddy, do adults cry?
Yes, they cry when they are really sad.
Do adults get scared?
Are you scared of needles?
I don’t like it, but I am not scared.
Were you ever scared of needles as a kid?
Yes. When I was your age I was scared of needles.
It would be easy for me to make myself out to be some heroic superchild who never experienced fear or tears (but my parents would rightly protest greatly). That might make me feel better about myself for a moment, but it would do horrible damage to my daughter. I never want her to feel shame for crying about what upsets her (fear or sadness) and I do not want to close off the lines of communication between myself and her. I want her to feel comfortable with coming to me to share about her life no matter what and not think “My daddy never cried or was afraid and he will think I am being weak and stupid.”
It is good for us to be honest about who we were as children with our kids as it helps us to bond with them and hopefully keep the lines of communication open between us for years to come. Remember to be human to your kids, because you and I know we are not perfect.
May God bless you with peace in your hearts, endurance in your trial, and patience when you are running out.