Thursday, November 17, 2011

Safe Places

Grace fell off our bed and onto the hard wood floor yesterday.

Who knows what she actually did to her mouth. Bit something I guess, but regardless it hurt and it bled. A lot. And she cried. A lot.

I immediately picked her up, realized she was bleeding and started sopping up blood with a towel. She cried and cried. And I gently snuggled her and told her it was ok and did all the things a Mommy should in a situation like this.

After a few minutes she wiggled down from my lap, still crying, still bleeding, and she walked herself down the hall to her bedroom (I followed of course). Then she reached up and, through screams, asked to be put in her crib.

And my heart just sank.

Her crib. Her safe place.

I, reluctantly, placed her gently in her crib. And then I stood over her, rubbed her hair, spoke to her gently and told her I wasn’t leaving. And she stopped crying.

I knew I couldn’t force my comfort on her. She needed her safe place.

Which happened to be her crib and not my arms.

It wasn’t about love. It wasn’t about attachment. For the first 17 months of her life her crib was the place that brought her comfort. Those habits don't just go away.

It was just where she needed to be at that moment. The best I could do for my baby girl was to meet her there.

Her wounds are indeed real. It isn't psychobabble mumbo jumbo. I've seen it first hand.

I can't heal her. Oh how I wish I could. But I can't. I pray that God does.

What I can do is provide her with a safe place to heal and LOVE her right where she, how she is, just as she is.

and oh boy do I ever.


  1. That gets to me like no other! My littlest still does this to this day. 3 years later, she'll accept the lovin' but it's just that, accepting it. And after a minute at best she wants down to be alone, usually on the floor, fingers in her mouth, to soothe her own wounds. Sweet girls. We keep on lovin' them... always.

  2. For the small stuff, Hailie now seeks solace from us, but for the big hurts, she insists she's fine (through her screams) and wants to be left alone. Praying that all our kids will learn to seek comfort from their parents, and especially from Our Heavenly Father, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!