On Monday my two year old somehow stuck her fingers through the tri-fold style doors on our entertainment center and then tried to shut the door.
She started screaming. The other kids started yelling.
I came running.
I said a prayer. I could get her index finger and her pinkie finger out, but the middle two were so stuck I couldn’t figure out how she got them so far in to begin with. Every small movement of the door, in either direction, made her scream in pain. I tried to lubricate her fingers and work them out that way. No luck. They were stuck fast, and turning purple.
I ran to my husband’s office to get a screwdriver, realizing that the only thing to do was to unscrew the hinges and take the door apart. It was no easy task to work the small screws out of the door while trying very hard not to move the door at all. I was so afraid that her tiny fingers would be broken. They looked terrible. At last I had the hinges above and below her hand free. I was able to pull the doors apart and remove her hand.
Bless her little heart. We ran to the kitchen to run it under cold water, then grabbed an ice pack. I changed her diaper, wrapped her in her blanket, wrapped her tiny, purple fingers in the ice pack, and held her while her sobbing slowly subsided and she fell asleep.
As I held this sleeping angel, I thought about what had just happened, and felt overwhelmed with gratitude for little lesson in faith that she had just demonstrated.
My daughter cried the entire time that I was trying to remove her fingers from the door. She was in terrible pain. But she trusted me. She trusted me when I had to run AWAY from her in order to get the tools I needed to help her. She trusted me when I left her on one side of the door and went to sit on the other side to take the screws out. She trusted me when she couldn’t see me. She trusted me when I told her I was working on it and that we would have her hand free in just a minute. And she trusted me to help her fingers feel better once they were out. I can still hear her little voice in my mind as she paused in her crying to say “Otay” each time I reassured her that what I was doing would ultimately help. She believed me. And although she was in genuine distress, she accepted what I was doing as sufficient. Sure, she wanted her fingers out, but she held on until it was over (really, what choice did she have?). Not for one minute did she feel betrayed or forgotten.
After watching her anxiously yesterday, I am grateful that my little girl’s fingers appear to be ok. They are swollen, but today even that is almost gone. She says that they are “still ouchie” but she’s using her hand normally and not favoring it at all. I feel so very thankful that these precious fingers are unmarred. So thankful for an answered prayer.
Last night those precious little fingers decided to help me load the dishwasher. It was so much fun to clean the kitchen together, just the two of us, and to see her delight in the experience.
I kept telling her to walk around to the other side, but she preferred to lay across the dishes to reach. So cute!
She was so pleased with herself.
I’ve been earnestly seeking to find joy in the everyday moments that remind me what life is all about. I’m happy that last night I did just that. Instead of just having a clean kitchen, I had some moments when I was fully present for my daughter. We made a special memory together, and THAT was the real reward.
I’m wishing you a day of simple joys!