Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Skinned Knees

Willow has her first skinned knees.  We were walking down the sidewalk, and she fell, as she often does, but because it was 85 degrees, she was wearing shorts, and she let out a yell when it hurt more than it usually did.  And she stood up, and was bleeding and my whole body clenched, but she just kept walking.  And when we got home and I poured the peroxide over her knees, she didn't even notice.

It's an interesting thing--I was more upset about the fall than she was, and you have to wonder when that changes.  When our efforts to underreact to falls become pointless and the fear that wasn't there suddenly takes hold. 

Case in point: we hauled everybody over to Liberty State Park on Saturday so that RockNoodle could divest herself of her training wheels, not because it's so very perfect for bicycle riding, but because that's where Toaster learned how lo these many years ago.  To summarize, we had a lovely afternoon, but our goal was not achieved.  We all tried (well, not Willow.  She was only interested in her snack and in the smiling clouds on Toaster's shirt), but RockNoodle was nervous and never allowed anybody to let go.

As a mother whose baby girl has newly-skinned knees, I like this fearfulness.  Undamaged children seem like a good thing to me.  But I know we're all supposed to fight that instinct, and push our very fragile-seeming offspring to overcome their own instincts for self-preservation, so that they may experience ever-greater things.

Or not.  I don't honestly feel like forcing RockNoodle to overcome anything--that doesn't seem like the way to do it really.  She'll do it when she's ready.  And let's just hope I remember that with my own kid.

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