Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Mothering: Struggling Well.
Carter had his 6 month wellness appointment today. It was the usual business. He's doing good. One of his testicles still hasn't come down yet so we have to go to a urologist to figure out where it is. But other than that it was a quick appointment that ended with some shots.
No matter how much tough love you have, it breaks your heart to watch their reaction when getting shots. His little face scrunches up as tears start to pour out. This time he almost seemed angry. His face turned red and it was as if he was saying, "How could you let this happen?"
As I watched all of this take place, I was reminded of a small section from this book I have mentioned numerous times, "Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys." The basic summary is that boys develop strength through struggle.
"Struggle builds great resilience in boys. Every young man I've invited to speak to my class has tasted significant struggle-whether it's abandonment, separation and divorce, the loss of a parent to death, a struggle with drugs and alcohol or pornography, rejection by peers, or bullying. As they speak, these young men give testimony to the anguish of those life experiences and the resilience they gained as a result of living (at times) in agony. They are living examples of the painful beauty of refinement and redemption-the kind of redemption we all long for our children to know and believe but are afraid for them to experience."
The author goes on later to explain that it is our job to teach a boy how to struggle well not keep them from struggling.. Teach them how to put words to their emotions. (Boys are bad at emotions...in general.)
After the nurse left and the torture ended, I held my little guy and talked to him as he seemed to settle down.
"Did that scare you?"
"Did that hurt you?"
"Sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do. And that's okay. You can tell your mother how that makes you feel."
"Were you surprised?"
"I'm sorry that made you sad."
I know he isn't computing any of this yet but I thought it was good practice in learning how to teach Carter how to deal with what he is feeling.
I thought this was a great idea. No matter how well I think I am packed for an outing, I usually forget something. Babies require too much stuff. :)