29 Nov This Might Hurt
Remember when you were a little and you had to go to the doctor? If you’re like me, then your first question for your mom or dad was probably, “Will I have to get a shot?” The doctor wasn’t scary, but the prospect of having to get a shot was terrifying! I distinctly remember the needle, looming large and ominous coming towards me in slow motion–and then the nurse saying, “This might hurt…”
We need shots. Shots are good. They can shorten an ear infection, keep chicken pox at bay, and prevent ugly infections like tetanus from getting the best of us.
Things that are good for us sometimes hurt. If you’ve ever had a splinter removed, then you know what I’m talking about!
Some people are afraid of pain. As humans, we’ve been conditioned to run from it. Our reflexes reflect that truth. Touch a hot plate, hand retracts. Step on a tack, lift foot. We avoid pain not only because it hurts but also to protect ourselves from further pain.
We want to shield our kids from unnecessary pain, but because we love our kids, we know that pain is also a crucial part of their development into a healthy, functioning adult. By definition, discipline and pain go hand-in-hand. Discipline always hurts, at least a little bit.
If you’ve ever trained for a big race, then you understand what I mean. Getting up at the crack of dawn to run, foregoing dessert when everyone else is eating your favorite pie, and dealing with muscle aches and spasms are all normal parts of the training process. The reward doesn’t usually come until the end, when you know you’ve given everything you’ve got to cross that finish line.
This year’s cause is pediatric cancer awareness. We are following the stories of many of the children who have received our dolls. And while there are bright spots of hope, for the most part, I feel like I’m in a perpetual state of triage. The nurse pats my arm and gently says,
“This might hurt.”
It hurts when I read posts about our friends in treatment. It hurts when I learn of yet another passing. It hurts when I tell people about the families who inspired me to start Forever We. You know why it hurts? It hurts because I love them. While my instinct is to pull away as quickly as I can, I’ve also learned that when I feel like I’m breaking, the worst thing I can do is try to keep it all together all by myself. Other people provide strength and inspire healing. We’re always better together.
Children will succeed in the adult world to the extent that they have been given opportunities to engage in situations that are challenging. Like a good runner, they need practical training. Sometimes it will hurt. Parents and caregivers can guide them safely through the process. That’s what I call good pain!
The child with cancer who receives one of our dolls knows we care about her. She knows that while we may not fully understand the extent of the pain she is experiencing, we do understand the universal language of play. We began Forever We on the premise that ALL kids could practice being compassionate and kind and in the process we could all do something good for the world.
Will you join us? I have to warn you, this might hurt, but we believe it’s worth it.