Sunday, October 12, 2008


I remember when I was little, waking up with a terrible dream. It was pretty scary too, something about Aliens that looked like Strawberry Shortcake landing in cupcake houses. I was seriously terrified! My mom was out of town and so I went to my dad, crawled into bed next to him and suddenly I was safe. The dream couldn’t reach me there. Somehow, my poor dad, in the middle of the night, made all fear from it vanish.

Why is that? Why is it that children are so comforted by their parents? R came into our room a couple weeks ago for the same reason. He rarely gets out of bed during the night, so I knew this was something difficult for him. His body was shaking from fear and he couldn’t talk. I let him cuddle up between hubby and me and soon, he drifted into a deep sleep.

When B gets frightened in a new situation, she clings to her mommy or daddy. When T hurts himself at school, he wants his parents. When lights are going out at night, J needs to be tucked in safely by both of us. And even S finds his comfort in knowing mom and dad are close by (although his chance of admitting it is slim)

The funny thing is, is that I feel just like a big kid. I don’t know that I can really protect them from the lightning and thunder outside. Sometimes, I get scared too. Somehow, they don’t know all that. My children think that just by holding my hand while they sleep, nightmares are going to be warded off. When they are sick, there is no medicine as powerful as the arms of a loving parent. Sometimes mom. Sometimes dad. We have different roles for soothing the troubled heart and I don’t know quite how the child determines who is going to offer the most effective balm.

I love to watch little children interact with their parents. Who do they want when a stranger approaches? Who do they go to when they are hurt? It’s us, the parents. I watch as their little heads burry into the shoulder of a loving father. I watch how a mother assures the toddler that his “owie” will heal. I love to watch the smiles on the child’s faces as they touch their daddy’s whiskers or stroke their mommy’s face. I love watching the feeling of safety as it manifests itself in a child’s eyes.

Isn’t this the coolest position to be in? Isn’t it the best thing ever? Somehow, Heavenly Father made it so these sweet little beings feel safe with a tender touch of a loving parent. Somehow, my kissing a wounded finger really does make it feel better. Somehow, a warm hug from daddy really makes the scary sounds not so bad. I love that. I love that I can give that to my children. It is one of the most sacred responsibilities we have as parents. To help our children feel safe. And all we have to do, is reach out to them.


Erin said...

I do love love love it. Luke gets night terrors and at first we are not able to comfort him. It is a terrible feeling until he realizes what is going on and clings to us...Thanks for sharing!

Huston Family said...

Thanks for the reminder! Sometimes in the craziness of life I forget how important a cuddle can be.
Katie said...

Awwww, I need to go hug my Gracie now.
It truly is the most rewarding, heart-warming thing ever to be a parent. I never would have guessed or understood how much you can feel for a little person.