Love requires a steady hand

By Mir
February 7, 2007

I’m fighting a cold right now, which is frustrating. I’ve barely been out of the house this week, so where did it come from? Maybe from the orthodontist’s office, where everything is coated with invisible platinum for your bankruptcy enjoyment. (Note to self: invisible platinum is apparently not antimicrobial.)

So I perhaps read a little faster, at bedtime, and tucked the kids in a little more briskly than usual. I did the most cursory clean-up of the kitchen that I could justify, then retreated to my bed with my laptop. I planned to finish up some work and go to sleep early.

About half an hour after tuck-in, Monkey stumbled into my room, squinty and sleepy.

“I can’t sleep,” he announced, “because my foot hurts.”

I stiffened. In the world there are blacks and whites and a million shades of grey inbetween, but with my son there are only opposite ends of the spectrum. Such a declaration could only mean one of two things: Either he was troubled by something intangible which I would be unable to fix, or his foot was broken. Either way, it wasn’t going to be pretty.

“What’s wrong with your foot? Show me.” Monkey obediently shed his footie pajamas bottoms and flung his foot into my lap. He was still rubbing his eyes and trying to adjust to my lamp.

“There,” he said, stabbing a finger towards his heel. “Something hurts there.” I bent down and examined his heel. I brushed my finger over the area and he winced as my fingertip hit something. “Don’t DO that!” he scolded me. “I TOLD you it hurts there!”

Trying to remain nonchalant, I set my computer aside and propped him up against my pillow. “Be right back, don’t go anywhere,” I told him. I went into the bathroom and grabbed the rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, band-aids, and tweezers.

(There are about a million things in this world I would rather do than dig around in my child’s flesh with a pointy object, by the way. Some of those things include chewing off my own arm, and using internet dating sites.)

I came back and doused a cotton ball in alcohol. I swabbed his foot and the tweezer tips and looked my son in the eyes. “Buddy, this might hurt a little. Try to hold still. Can you do that?” He nodded and I bent to work, steeling myself for wails.

Monkey was a statue and didn’t make a peep as I pulled the biggest splinter I’ve ever seen out of his foot. “Goodness, buddy, where did you get THAT?” I asked, holding it up for his inspection.

“I don’t know. I don’t think I want it,” he answered. I swabbed his heel again and blew on it until it dried, then affixed a band-aid. He put his pajama bottoms back on and I carried him down the hall to his bed.

As I pulled the covers up for him, he grabbed my hand. “I feel much better now, Mama,” he sighed. “Thank you for getting that thing out of me.” I ruffled his hair and returned to my work, and only lost a little time wondering how in the world he got a splinter while in bed. (Or, alternatively, how long he was wandering around with a two by four lodged in his foot before it occurred to him that it hurt.)

So often I cannot fix my children’s pain. They trust me to make it all better, and as they grow I will fail them more and more. But tonight I had the magic tweezers.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. May you all have someone who truly believes you can make it all better.


  1. ChristieNY

    What a beautiful post, Mir. I’m so glad you could make it better for him tonight.

    Heal up, you many more “Mommy to the rescue” moments ahead. I think that’s just part of being a Mommy. And you sure are a good one!

    Hugs to you on this happy love Thursday! :)

  2. Mom2One

    Awwwwww. Love the moments when I can make it better. Hate the moments when I can’t. Just hate them, and know that those are going to outweigh the ones when I can, even more the more Nate grows and gets older. I’m glad I have friends IRL and online to help me through those times. *hugs*

  3. Muirnait

    You’re a rather amazing lady, you know. Thanks for that post.

  4. meredith

    I wish we moms could always make it better.

  5. tori

    I love that! So beautiful! (which is totally a lame comment, but it’s what I mean)

  6. Sara

    “I don’t think I want it.” I love that Monkey. Oh for more tools like magic tweezers!

  7. Bob

    I thought about things like this when Zack was in the hospital a few years ago (remember? I believe that’s when we met!) I felt so helpless then and would have moved heaven and earth for some “magic tweezers” to make his pain go away and make him all better.

    Today the magic item seems to be money!

  8. MMM

    Awwww, congrats on fixing that pain!

  9. Chris

    Amen to the whole “can’t always fix their pain” statement. I alwyas try though. Great post!

  10. Mrs. Schmitty

    What a sweet story. I’m so glad you were able to remove the splinter and come to his rescue. It feels great when you can do that, doesn’t it?

  11. Delton

    Very cool. You are so good at capturing the feelings of an event like this. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

  12. David

    Ah, yes. Mom’s Magic Tweezers. Boy, that brings back the memories. Great post, Mir.

  13. Aimee

    I wish *I* had some magic tweezers! Hope you feel better…

  14. Crisanne

    It makes me smile to see how much your son still needs you. Thanks for reminding me how much I love being a Mommy.

  15. Liise

    I love the words that come out of sleepy children’s mouths (mouthzzz?)

    Awesome story Ms Mir.

  16. Cele

    Wouldn’t it be nice if magic tweezers fixed everything in their lives? Love Thursday.

  17. jenn

    You always make me smile! Here’s wishing you lots more moments where you have the magic tweezers.

  18. Susan

    You are the best mama, I swear.

  19. Brown Eyed Girl

    That was the most precious thing.

    I promise you….with beginnings like this….you won’t fail them as much as you think.

    I speak from experience.

  20. Alison

    Because my kids are small (1 and 4), right now they want Mama when anything hurts or goes wrong. They think I am magic and I love it. Thanks for reminding me to value this time when I CAN make it all better most of the time.

  21. Krisco

    WHY. WHY. Why is it that you can write these beautiful posts day after day.

    That was awesome.

  22. Tina

    Awwww, that was so sweet!!

    What a wonderful Mama you are!!!


  23. Daisy

    “I don’t know, but I don’t think I want it.” Priceless. Magic Tweezers? Find a deal on WantNot.

  24. dad

    I continue to look forward to Thursdays on your web page.

  25. Becca

    I can’t believe you didn’t take a picture of the splinter!

  26. Pastormac's Ann

    “As I pulled the covers up for him, he grabbed my hand. “I feel much better now, Mama,” he sighed. “Thank you for getting that thing out of me.” ”

    This just melted my heart. Thanks for sharing.

  27. EmLouisa

    Awww. How sweet!! I love when annoying things turn into “moments”.

    Love your web design! It looks fab!

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