A beautiful day after school. A playdate was scheduled with one of my son’s friends. We go to a park where they are giggling, using every inch of the playground. The kids decided to hold hands and go running on the unpaved path, until my son fell on the floor and scratched his hands, one arm and the torso.
His insides were not visible, there was no gushing blood, but by the level of his whimpering someone could guess we were dealing with an almost lethal wound. We put water, we hugged him and he was unconsolable. Among his tears, there was only one word he mumbled: bandaid
We are at the stage of development when bandaids hold their most magical power. The tiniest scratches get better by just covering the wound with one of them. And if they have a special design, more than one would be needed - thank you marketers!. Sometimes, I am sure I am not the only one, I even offer a bandaid as a consolation price.
The problem is that today I did not carry one with me. So the playdate at the park with a fun friend on a gorgeous day was aborted soon after. We needed to get home to get bandaids. And we did!
After looking for a package and making sure I grabbed extra to leave in my purse I realized adults never really outgrow the stage my son is at. We want to cover every problem thinking that if we can’t see it, it does not exist. But the truth is that in life covering anything does not lead to healing, it only avoid us the pain of seeing it. The magic of the bandaid resides on its capacity to hide a wound; the magic of an emotional bandage is that the wound remains untouched, it seldom disappears.
The process of healing is an active role. It is true that some wounds need time, and some leave scars. But if we truly, absolutely, positively want to cure any lesion we need to work at it. We need to tend to its root, apply whatever pomade it needs, take care of any infection, clean it, observe it, check it constantly. That is where the dichotomy lies: we tend our soul with the same oblivion that a kid treats its wound: let’s cover it and leave.
Today, regardless of all of my negotiation tactics, my son begged to abandon a playdate he was looking forward to in search of a bandaid. I wish I would have told him that although the trust he has put in a bandage might help him to remain faithful in the future, the truth is that sometimes we need to let our wounds free, exposed to the air, to time until his tender care help them heal. One day he will learn that sometimes the most painful process is ripping a bandage, but as in other moments in his life, the pain will eventually go away.
So, dear kid, enjoy this stage and know that if I can’t catch you, at least I will give you any remedy you think you need, call it a bandaid or just a kiss. I will alway be here to tend to you, and I hope in the process I teach you that whatever the wound, there are no better remedies than love, time and active, tender care. Let any bandage be your strength medal and not a mask that disguises the pain. Let life be your playground, because even when you fall, you have the strength to get better….every time…at every stage of your life.