Any way you look at it, I would be described as an overprotective parent. When my first child was born, I would cringe every time he would get a scrape, bump, or bruise thinking it labeled me as a neglectful parent.
By the time our second child arrived I was a little more relaxed, having been reassured by the pediatrician with our first child that toddlers who are healthy and growing correctly will have bruises up and down their legs, the result of being allowed to explore and enjoy their childhood.
After having suffered a miscarriage and then being blessed with yet another child, I was again a Nervous Nellie, afraid that this child would die an untimely death due to some freak accident before the second birthday. Having celebrated that milestone recently, I again started to calm down some regarding injuries and death.
This past week our middle child got hurt at school. Once again, Nervous Nellie tried to rear her ugly head, fully ready to dress each of my children, head to toe, in Cottonelle bath tissue as demonstrated in that cute commercial several years ago.
I was brought back to reality quite quickly when I realized that instead of being upset, I am truly thankful that my children are happy and healthy, in every sense of the word; kids who have the capability to get hurt. The bruises they receive are a result of having the ability to use their legs, arms, hands, and feet in play – exploring, testing their boundaries, and sometimes are a direct result of not using their brain to its full potential.
With this new mindset, I am actually preparing for more injuries in the future, proving that my children will continue to grow, explore, and thrive in the world instead of being locked away in our house, safe from all danger but also stilted from reaching their full potential.
So, this weekend, I challenge your family to go out together; Explore, have fun, be creative, and maybe, just maybe, earn a few bruises of your own. You might be glad you did.