Thursday, May 26, 2011

For One More Day...

     Squeals of delight ebb and flow from my bedroom window, as I iron the same clothes from last week.  I listen to my children, so full of joy in a world with so much turmoil.  I want them to stay that way forever.  I would sacrifice my most prized possession if I could shelter them from pain, but I know also that they need pain to grow.  Just last week I had a wake-up call, a real epiphany showing me how much they still don’t know about the ways of the world.  Part of me was very happy that I had done my job to protect, yet the other half was full of grief.
     My daughter had a minor surgery to remove a benign fatty tumor located on her left middle finger.  It had been there, growing, for a year and as much as she protested that it didn’t bother her, I knew it was time for it to go.  Surgery was done and a bandage was applied.  In her still groggy state in the recovery room, a nurse came to check her vitals.  She made a comment about her bandage, an off-hand joke about the many other comments she would probably be receiving for the next week.  I looked at my baby’s sweet fragile hand and saw what the nurse meant, kind of smiled and got on to more important matters, like waking her up.
     Later, my mother also pointed out the now obvious problem.  It didn’t really affect me until about three days later, while browsing at the grocery store, a young worker began talking with us.  After a few social niceties, he did it.  He looked right at my twelve year old, so young and child-like and told her what message it looked like she was sending -- in a vague form.  Thank the Lord.  I hurried her on and we left, but I was hurt. 
     I wasn’t hurt because he offended me necessarily.  I’ve been around the block and know this world pretty well.  I know the absurdities and all the foul words.  I used to say them.  I now wanted to just protect her from knowing what they meant, if only I could for at least ten days.  I couldn’t imagine what it would be like being twelve and knowing what people might be thinking about my finger everywhere I went.  The remarks didn’t stop there, they continued throughout the ten days, and she never did ask me what they meant. 
     So now the bandage is off and the healing is nearly complete.  My beautiful girl has a skinny finger and is glad that she went through with the procedure.  She is safe from any more crude questions and remarks, but is she really?  Our children are safe in God’s hands because we pray for them, but that doesn’t keep them from having to learn the harsh evils of the world.  They will learn.  I still haven’t decided if I should bring up all of that, since she has never asked.  I have always had the philosophy that I would rather they learn something from me than from someone else, especially a peer lacking the maturity to explain it.  But for tonight I will revel in the fact that she doesn’t have to be burdened with it for one more day, because the time of innocence is so short.  Once it’s lost, it’s lost forever.


Susan said...

Can I do this? I can! Yay! More later...