The Pox and Other Challenges.


Yup. It seems that I’ve got chicken pox. It’s itchy and uncomfortable. It’s hard to remember not to scratch. I feel like I have insects crawling on my head, back and arms. It’s a constant irritation. And I can’t believe little kids have to deal with this. It’s not the first time I’ve felt that way.

As I believe I’ve mentioned, I fall down surprisingly regularly and skin my knees and elbows. And it truly, seriously hurts! But kids skin their knees and bang their heads all the time and we dry their tears, give them a band-aid and a popsicle, and expect them to get on with the day.

We worry when we have headaches. Kids get ear infections that make it almost impossible to lie down without screaming and sometimes they rupture eardrums. But during the day they usually go on with their games with baby aspirin (how helpful could that really be?) and relatively mild complaints.

And they aren’t just brave when it comes to things that hurt. Think about what we ask them to do. We’re constantly raising the bar for our kids. Do you know your colors? Now learn these shapes. Know all 26 letters? Learn what sounds they make. You can get dressed on your own? Super, now learn to tie your shoes. Smile big while I send you off into the world on your own. The role of a young child is to be faced with constant challenges and increased expectations.

What I love about them, these very small people, is that they seem to rise to every occasion. Rather than rolling around wailing for hours about what hurts, they’ll usually accept a hug and then move on. They take enormous pride in the smallest accomplishments and look at the next challenge as an opportunity for more fun rather than an obstacle.

I guess there’s a lesson here that we can all learn from our littles. If I can be half as brave, half as patient, and half as willing to learn and to accept change as my four-year-old, I’ll be a better person for it.

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