Doctor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Minnesota

My daughter has several seemingly life threatening experiences most mornings.  The tag that accosted her neck, the brother that invaded her bubble at the bathroom sink, and the dreaded jaws of life: seatbelt pinch.  All of these mishaps add up to my biggest morning fear, lateness. My typical parental responses bubble up “you’re fine, learn to share, be more careful.”  More tears. More time…Worry…How is she going to deal with real life?

The test results are not good.  I explain.  I wait…allowing space.  I leave the room and come back.  More silence, more space.  “This must feel impossible.”  A crack, an opening, words and emotions flow out.  I remain silent.  A plan is reached.  Gentle thanks.

Glad I didn’t start with “you’re fine” or “you should have been more careful.”

I try again.  “That must feel so uncomfortable, frustrating, scary.”  A response, “yes, can we just cut it off, take turns, kiss it.”  Big sigh…the tears stop.

We’re in the car.  We both might make it.