Why I am Happy My Son has Wounds
Its been only a few days since we got back from a four day trip to Bohol last week. On our very first night, my son stabbed himself with pencils and cut his fingers enough to bleed. The day after, he fell on rocky paths which gave him leg scratches, and in the same day he tripped while jumping up and down the stairs. He ended up cutting his lip on the inside and his mouth momentarily filled with blood because of it. On the outside, little below the lower lip, he has a small bruise.
The last night of our time in beautiful Bohol he falls off a chair and we hear a dull thump on the floor that says he hit his head. Thankfully, his brains and skull remained intact — no swelling at all, yet I am sure he couldn’t help but cry out of the surprise.
Was I worried in those moments? Yes and no. Maybe yes initially, while fervently praying under my breath that what happened leads to nothing serious and no, because I actually want him to have more of this often. Yes you heard me right and no, it’s not because I am a bad, sadistic mother. This is not me delighting to watch my son in shock or pain, but only grateful for opportunities where his bravery is sharpened, and his confidence increased, now knowing it isn’t impossible to get after every fall.
Because Philip, early as seven months old, would show signs of extreme caution and conservatism. He was so careful to the point of not trying at all. He is not the type to jump and fall into pools, and the last to do slides in the playground. I know it sounds ideal but it is a good thing that God gave me heavenly insight about my son’s excessive carefulness or I would have not encouraged him otherwise. Because while a preservation mindset is good, even admirable, it can also affect growth. Experience shows us all that we learn much when we try much. But we also know that when we try much, we also fall much. And of course, falling is painful. But it also teaches. This is the tension that I am trying to balance and live through as a mother, and even within my own self.
Please don’t take this entry as a license to be daredevils, but one that might make us a little less scared of failures and falls. And maybe even more welcoming to instances of necessary pain, hardship, challenges, which make us better people in the end. Now what are these things for us adults, you might ask? Well, leading people, starting new friendships, getting married, raising kids, going for a new job, are all something of this sort. They will definitely subject you to some necessary falls, failures, hurt, pain, challenges, but can also possibly lead to the greatest lessons of your life.
Back to Philip, my son. If I don’t allow him to explore, he won’t fall. And if he does not get acquainted with falls, he won’t know many falls are easy to get over and you can always just explore again. Moreover, that some falls are extremely dangerous that you never wanna explore that way again.
Again I have to say, I do not advise foolishness. There are unnecessary falls and necessary ones. But I believe that we will be given the wisdom to know the difference when situations present themselves, especially when you ask the Lord for it. God says that he gives wisdom to those who don’t have it, generously and without finding fault (James 1:5). You know what I find myself to tell my son a lot lately? It’s okay to make a mistake, but it isn’t okay when you give up trying. And it’s because I somehow understand that some errors are essential to the process.
Have a great Tuesday!