I heard the cry outside my bedroom window this morning about 8. I knew it was a child and they needed help. I ran out the front door and saw the little, blonde-haired girl lying on her tummy crying. She’d tripped and fallen on the concrete walk and her hair was in her eyes. She’d fallen, but she hadn’t gotten up.
I called out and cooed over her, “oh Baby, are you all right? Are you okay?” I tried to comfort her as I picked her up. She was tiny, a kindergartener, I’d bet. I set her on her feet and crouched down low beside her to assess the damage: two slightly skinned palms and one slightly scraped knee. No blood. We gave the knee a rub and gave our hands a shake.
She’d stopped crying and I asked her name. Jade. Was she on the way to school? A nod and an uh-huh. Did she need to go home to see her Mom? No. She was with her sister and friend (who stood watching, with or without concern, I couldn’t tell).
What did I say? I know what I wished I’d said. I wish my “Mother Mary” had kicked in and I’d fussed over her a little more: dried her tears with my sleeve, kissed her little palms and little knee, given her a big hug.
I wish I’d told her she was like a super ball and had great bounce-back ability. That she’d grow up to be a hell-of-a bouncer. Or that she was like Tigger to have a “bouncy-trouncy” day.
I wish I’d shared Clarrisa Pinkola Estes with her: “Refuse to fall down. If you cannot reuse to fall down, refuse to stay down, lift your heart toward heaven like a hungry beggar, ask that it be filled and it will be filled. You may be pushed down. You may be kept from rising, but no one an keep you from lifting your heart toward heaven—only you. It is in the middle of misery that so much becomes clear. The one who says nothing good came of this is not yet listening.”
I wish I’d gone Zen on her 6 yr old ass! “Fall down 7 times, get up 8.”
But I didn’t.
Instead, I calmly said, “It hurts to fall sometimes, doesn’t it.” Jade answered with a nod and another uh-huh. “Just get up and keep going, that’s all you have to do.” That’s what I told her. Life’s most basic lesson during a fall-flat-on-your-face moment; a skin your knee moment. Just get up and keep going. I’m sure if her Mom had been there, she would have told her the same.
“The day gets better from here,” I told her as I sent her off with her sister and friend. It felt good to parent someone else’s kid. If something happens to one of my three kids one day, I hope there will be another Mom there to help.
We all need an occasional hand-up. And tears are allowed! I know it’s my Sagitarius side, but just get up and keep going.