By: Leah Prescott
A wonderful thing happened this afternoon.
My daughter got a splinter.
I know, you’re thinking, “How is that a good thing?”
That’s a valid question.
Today, I took the three kids to the park with a few friends to enjoy the beautiful weather. After the cloudy and rainy days we’ve been having, it was a huge treat to just soak up the warm afternoon. We were enjoying it so much that I let the kids ditch their shoes and run around barefoot. After about thirty minutes of running around like crazy, my eight-year-old walked up to me. “I’ve got a splinter,” she announced. “Ok,” I said, taking a deep breath. “It’ll be ok; let me take a look.”
My girls have always been sensitive, very shy and very connected to each other. When one got upset, the other would respond with even more tears, and the hysteria would escalate. For a while I suspected sensory issues because of the way they responded to situations. It was difficult to even go out at times because they were so afraid of strangers. It was exhausting and I spent so much time worrying about them. They were over-sensitive to strangers, injuries, sounds, and new environments. When they were toddlers, I was genuinely worried we wouldn’t get past this. Heaven help us if there was a real emergency. Hair tangles, chipped nail polish, or finding socks that don’t have the wrong kind of seams have been about all the drama this twin mama could take.
Fast forward to today. When one of them got a splinter, I was gearing up for major drama. You see, splinters are something that had been a HUGE ordeal in the Prescott home in the past. My little curly-headed darlings used to be terrified of splinters. Many tears have been shed over tiny specks so small they are practically invisible to the naked eye. So today, anticipating a big commotion, I was ready to scoop up all three and take off. But an amazing thing happened: Nothing!
She put on her shoes and went back to the slides. Her sister glanced over with disinterest and went about her play. Later we went home and took the splinter out with tweezers, applied some Neosporin and stuck on a Frozen bandaid. JUST LIKE THAT. And it was over, with no hysterical tears from either of the girls. I was gobsmacked.
And then I realized: only a rookie mom would be shocked to see her children grow and mature. Why am I surprised that these challenges that have seemed insurmountable are now becoming merely a thing of the past? Even though I’ve been told that the days are long but the years are short, I somehow fail to believe it. And even though we successfully moved on from potty-training snafus, breastfeeding obstacles, and those Braxton Hicks Contractions that I thought would never end, somehow I still live as if today’s problems will never go away.
My goal in this post is to encourage all of us today. Whether you are dealing with your children, or health issues, or difficult situations at your job, none of it is permanent. We can all look with hope to the future. All the craziness of my life right now… from my toddler’s best efforts to drive me crazy to the challenges of teaching fractions to my second graders…..all of that will later become something to reminisce about. So instead of collapsing into a fetal position on my kitchen floor, drinking my coffee through a twisty straw, I’ll remind myself that “this too shall pass.”
And that now I don’t have to be scared of splinters.