"Waaaaaaaaa - MAMA, I have a boo-boo!" You can only imagine how often I hear those words spoken in a house of five children, four of whom are walking and thereby capable of falling. Each of my children addresses pain differently but they all like to get their boo-boos kissed. What is it about a kiss which sets to right all the world?
Leah likes to hear herself cry. She falls and immediately begins to pout, then cry and finally screech. She likes to be kissed and then kissed again and finally kissed yet one more time. The whole while she snuggles in my arms, sucking her thumb. When she is done she pushes off of me and runs away, quite independently! She will be back...
Caleb shows anyone interested in looking (or anyone near enough) his blood - even if the blood is in his mind alone. He falls, starts to cry and between sobs comes running to tell me about the blood surely pouring down his leg, face, arm, etc. Once he determines that the blood has sufficiently been noted by any audience he can gain he insists upon kisses. "Kiss my boo-boo please, Mama. Kiss it right here!" Once the kiss is delivered he RUNS off with a smile and skip, right back into trouble.
Bethany dramatizes every scratch, scrape or rub. Upon falling she barely controls herself long enough to sob out the words, "oowwww." Flinching and crying she hardly tolerates any cleansing or bandaging of the wound. We have learned to settle her by telling her what we are doing but deny her the absolute truth of it. If she doesn't know what is happening she is ten times better off. I kiss the bandaged boo-boo and watch her limp off to continue to mourn the discomfort for the next several hours.
Hannah has grown up and I miss her already. She clings stoically to control when she gets hurt, preferring to hold back the tears and work to show herself mature. No more kisses to relieve her pain. She sits still for me and barely flinches when I need to treat tender cuts. She has no idea how sweet it was when I could kiss her little fingers and hug away the ouch.
I adore having children. I adore having many children. One of the reasons is to kiss boo-boos. I am not ready to give up the magic of it all. And sometimes even Hannah lets me use that wonderful magic on her. Someday she will recognize the power of it.