Today’s feature is from Emily Caldwell
I’ve been meaning to get a shot of those precious little scraped knees. Olivia learned mobility pretty easily and seemed to make a seamless transition to walking, without the cuts, scrapes and bruises that I was accustomed to seeing on kids. I thought I’d gotten lucky. But as she grew more adventurous, that changed pretty quickly. Cuts, bruises, scrapes… all the time! Last week, she fell down and scraped one of her knees every. single. day. As soon as one boo boo heals she’s onto the next. I’m relieved that she’s tough about it, instantly soothed by a kiss. But I was always afraid of what others would think, seeing my banged up toddler. Was I not watching her close enough? Should I be more cautious and not let her climb up on things? I felt a little defensive when people would raise an eyebrow and point out her tiny injuries, like they were pointing fingers or judging me. “I’m a good mom!” I wanted to say. “I’m just letting her explore!” But instead I’d offer a (sometimes lengthy) explanation of each little ding. It was exhausting, and at some point I realized I had nothing to feel guilty about. My little girl is curious. I like giving her the freedom to learn about the world, even if it means living on the edge a little. Cuts and bruises are inevitable to toddlerhood. So I’ve learned to chill out, and when people ask me about her cuts and bruises, instead of sweating buckets and babbling away, I just shrug and say, “She’s a toddler.” And when well-meaning folks try to insist that I hold her hand while she walks up a hill or on a gravel path, I smile and say, “She prefers to do it on her own.” It’s certainly not everyone’s parenting style. But for my independent little redhead and I, it just works.