...but I sure hope not!
10 pm. I’m sitting on the sofa in the living room listening to my son cry. He’s woken up, it’s not time for him to eat, and he needs to go back to sleep. Mike just gave him some more medicine (cutting teeth is the worst!) and offered him a pacifier (which he refused). Now he’s on his own.
I wish I could help him out. I wish I could comfort him and make it all better. And I could. But that wouldn't be what he needs. He needs to get himself to sleep. If I go help him, he’ll be up again tomorrow night at the same time. If I don’t, chances are, he’ll sleep through it next time around.
As I sit here, I’m struck by the fact that this is only one of many times that I’ll have to stand on the sidelines, content to watch or listen to my children struggle to figure something out on their own. They’ll have to navigate the world of jobs, friendships, relationships, finances, and even parenting. And long before any of that, they’ll have to figure out how to eat with silverware, get dressed on their own, pick up their toys, and express disappointment without throwing things on the floor.
I wish I could spare them the pain and frustration of learning these things on their own. But pain and frustration are a part of life. I want them to live. I want them to live long, full lives with healthy , wonderful experiences and people. I want them to reap the benefits of the same pain and frustration I sometimes wish I could spare them.
So I’ll stay here, listening to Jordan gradually quiet himself. I’ll stay here because I believe in his ability to figure this out himself. And by staying here, I’m letting him know that I believe in him.
At least that’s what I’ll tell myself tonight.