Dimples was very distressed this morning because her school library book had gotten into Little Man’s hands and he tore a page from it. I was on the treadmill as the events began to unfold; unravel might be a better word.
She was very agitated and angry with everyone, trying to place blame on who left her book out. Russ recognized that she was actually very anxious and worried. When I came in the room, she had her arms crossed and her head turned away from Russ, who was trying to calm her.
I knelt down on the floor next to her and very quietly told her that I knew she was feeling very scared, and that she had a lot of scared and sad inside her about the book. I told her that Daddy would go to school with her and explain what happened to the book. It was not her fault that Little Man tore her book, and Daddy would take care of it.
Then I pulled her onto my lap in the big rocker and I said, “When you were a little girl in Ethiopia, you had to take care of yourself and keep yourself safe, but now it is Mommy and Daddy’s job and we will keep you safe. Parents keep their children safe. Daddy will talk to your teacher and you do not have to be afraid.”
She got very quiet and then leaned against me. I repeated again that it was our job to keep her safe and that she did not have to be afraid anymore.
Tears began to flow quietly down her cheeks. We had never seen anything like it. Russ and I looked at each other and knew we had touched something deep in Dimples’ heart. She pressed her face into my chest and I held her close while rocking.
It was not long before she was ready to get up and go to school. I think we may be making progress. It is hard work, very hard work. Somebody asked in a blog comment how I have time to deal with things like this; to be honest, I don’t have time, but I have to make time.
We are in a desperate battle for our child’s healing.
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