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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

fragile

As I type, a small, dark toddler lies nestled on my lap. Asleep. Our chests rise and fall in gentle harmony and I wonder if there is anything more precious than this - a child in my arms asleep, even a child not my own. He lies so trusting, totally abandoned, resting in the safety of my embrace and I am struck by his vulnerability and fragility. I want to protect him from all harm (is that a small bruise I see on his eyelid?), nurture him, defend him.

As these feelings swell in my breast I can't forget what happened just a few nights ago. He screamed and screamed in total denial of his need to sleep. While both our tempers flared, I plonked him none too gently on the lounge and Frank and I loudly debated his readiness to sleep. We were both right - eventually he slept. But in the brief flare of rage did we harm him? Despite all my latent longing to shelter him from danger, did I instead leave a nasty imprint upon his mind?

Tonight I prepared myself for the onslaught, determined to maintain calm whatever this young child threw at me. He fell asleep at 6:30pm, stirring once or twice but settling quickly. I don't deserve his trust or adoration. Something shifts within me as I ponder his ability to forgive my wrong of the other night.

It strikes me we all have an element of this little Indian boy tucked away inside. We all need to be loved, nurtured, protected. We all are fragile, easily broken. Our bodies are bulkier, our hearts encrusted in defensive stone, but inside lies a softness to be cherished.

I am weak and faulty, I fail all the time, but the best in me stretches to offer this little boy love and hope and safety. The best in me also reaches out to my husband with deep valuing and respect and the desire to cherish him (he is amazing).

I am fragile. They are fragile.
Together, perhaps, we might find strength.

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3 Comments:

At 12:56 am, May 01, 2008, Blogger Deanna said...

Yes, how amazing it is that God entrusts the innocent ones to us flawed beings. And yet I think those adults who let themselves be humbled as they strive to see this truth are gaining treasure to pass on to generations to come. The grownups who earned my deepest respect were those who genuinely admitted when they believed they had failed.

Navigating the care of young ones is never easy, but it sounds like you and Frank are taking it on well. Thanks for this post.

 
At 4:05 pm, May 03, 2008, Blogger Mike S said...

Really nice. You've given me my 'Quote' for a day soon. From Dr Spock. Great advice and you & Frank are living proof:)

 
At 3:31 am, May 04, 2008, Blogger Cherie said...

Children put us to the test - and soften us up, too.

Tender post, Cecily.

 

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