This is a regular series every Monday that comments on what I am learning about my own journey through motherhood...the peaks, the valleys, the pathways and the vast oceans. This weekend I had my first experience at not being able to soothe Sam. He had some side effects from his latest round of vaccines and was not able to go to the bathroom all day. From the look on his little face and the feel of his hard stomach, it was obvious that he was in pain and there was nothing that Mommy could do to comfort him. Massage, different positions, eating, rocking, making him warmer....it was really hard to go through the motions and have nothing help. I just had to sit with him through it all and show that I was next to him, there for him, loving him. Eventually, in the later afternoon, he was able to release and go to sleep. And smile again and be the little happy person that he usually is.
It was hard to be so helpless, to let my inability to change his situation be alright. I am used to being able to soothe him, to read what is going on and make it better. The mommy- way. It was a lesson (and not the first) that I won't be able to fix everything for Sam. That I can be as steadfast and present for him as possible, but that his pain and situations and experiences are really his own. He may be a baby who needs his parents to care for his basic needs, but he is already his own little person who takes up space in this world and interacts with his environment in his own unique way.
I can foresee this being such a hard, continuous lesson: to care and protect your child just enough for them to be safe and feel loved but not too much that they are unable to open their own wings and learn how to feel the breeze and fly. Finding this balance will be one of continuous practice and an aspect of life that I want to be as conscious of as possible. I want Sam to know that risking is good, and that although the outcome may not always be desirable that there are valuable lessons whether we fail or succeed. I watch him experiencing the world, growing rapidly before my opened eyes, and I know that the day will come sooner rather than later when this lesson will come into play more and more often, as Sam becomes bolder and older and even more enlivened by the world around him.