My daughter got her very first bee sting this summer. I was able to calm her cries of pain with some ice and a few hugs and kisses. She told me all the facts about bees that she’s learned from the Wild Kratz and her subscription to National Geographic for kids.
That girl knows a lot about bees.
Then, after the ice soothed the sting on her arm, she realized that her heart was broken.
“Why would the bee want to hurt me? I didn’t do anything to her. I wouldn’t have smashed her. Why would she be so mean?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I answered. “Maybe the bee thought you were a threat.”
“But I wasn’t.”
“I know, honey.”
I hurt for her hurt.
Sometime in the future, soon I’d guess, her feelings will be hurt. This time by a friend or a bully at school. Or by her brothers. Maybe even by me. She will cry. It will make me want to cry. I’ll hate that she’s hurting.
I’m strong. I’ll take that ache for her. I’m so over bullies. Let them hurl the insults at me. Friend drama…I can take it. Bees? Well, I can handle that, too. Just, please Lord, spare my daughter that kind of hurt.
You know what? My Little Miss Tender Heart needs to feel all of it. As much as I want to shield her from it all, I can’t. I shouldn’t. I won’t. She will learn from each time her heart is broken.
This isn’t me wanting her to “toughen up”. I don’t think that’s the right approach. Her sensitivity can become a strength for her. No. This is about her learning how to handle the pain. How to process her emotions. How to communicate when she’s hurt.
This can be a difficult lesson to learn as a parent.
Tell me; how do you comfort the heart of a loved one? How do youn like to be comforted?