Recently I had a sad mummy moment. It was actually on our transit back home from Vietnam and to give our daughter some opportunity to use up some of the energy she had bursting after the first 5 hour flight, we took her to play on the playground at Changi Airport.
She is only 16 months, so there is not a lot of playground stuff yet suited to her age, but she was having a wonderful time running in and out of the cubby house with the mini foam slide and ladder. She loves other kids and is surprisingly social for someone who spends so much of her time with her mum and dad, rather than similar height peers. So here she was, so excited, full of joy and happiness and having the time of her life.
We stood back and watched, enjoying her happiness and feeling that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you see your kids having that much fun. For about half an hour she played happily, making little friends, running in and out and giggling her beautiful little head off.
Then it all turned bad. A little boy maybe a year older than her came along and they were face to face. Our little bundle of joy gave this kid a big smile… only for the little so and so to push her backwards by the face 😦
His mother rushed to the rescue as did we but the hysterical crying and sobbing from our darling girl who had been having the time of her life only seconds before was heartbreaking. It really tore me up.
I know as well as the next person that kids do these things. She will probably do the same to another kid sometime (even if her daddy doesn’t think she would ever do such a thing). It’s all part of their learning experience and some kids are a little crueller than others, but it’s all normal.
However it really made me think about how precious that childhood innocence really is. At such an early stage of learning and development, kids do see unconditional good in the world and in others. It is all too soon that they start to realise things are not always good. I hate that thought. As a mother, I want to protect her from the truth that the world is not always a good place. I want to shield her from any physical or emotional pain. I want to be her hero.
But we all have to learn these things for ourselves as that is the only way to build strength and resilience to what the world will throw at us. So instead, I will protect her for as long as I can but once she is ready to learn these things for herself, I will be her number 1 support so that she knows no matter how hard it gets, she is loved and capable and simply amazing!