He had to take her to the emergency room.
We had been waiting in line at the fair for our tickets. I had told her to stay still too many times. Up and down, jump, up and down, jump. And, every time, the rickety metal steps leading up to the ticket trailer would rattle and shake. “Lydia, sit down! Stop moving!” She frowned and sat for about 5 seconds before she proceeded to climb the railing again and fall and hit her head on the corner of the step.
There she was, screaming and bleeding, clearly needing stitches. And, I was angry.
We were going to have a fun night at the fair, one of our last nights together as a family before Mark left for China for 2 weeks. I had told her to stay still; I had told her to stop; she didn’t listen…again.
He had to take her to the emergency room; I wasn’t ready to be the parent she needed there.
With the roar of the rides and all the bells and whistles of carnival games in the background, somehow my heart quieted, and I remembered what I knew to be true about my daughter. The world was not as it should be for my daughter during her first year of life. When that is the case, there is a profound impact on children, and we’ve seen that in our little girl. With the complicated integration of her traumatic infancy, personality, and the nature we all share to choose our own way, we have our Lydia. She’s always moving, always touching, always climbing and jumping, always sensory seeking. And, it’s really hard for her to not. It’s not simply an issue of disobedience.
I left the fair and met them at the emergency room. I saw my baby all curled up with her father in that big bed, sad and scared. All those feelings of compassion and fear for her welled up within me. I could love her now the way she needed to be loved, with the kind of love that pursues knowing her more fully, the kind of love that considers who she is and guides her based on that and not what I want.
She got a couple stitches that night as her daddy and I literally covered her with our own bodies while the doctors worked on her pretty little face. When it was all over, she clung to us, this little independent girl physically demonstrating her utter dependence on us.
And, then we went back to the fair as a family. Riding side by side on a kiddie roller coaster was just what the doctor ordered—for Lydia and her mom.