I was in the kitchen when I heard the sound of crying coming from the backyard. The wailing was muffled by the windows but I could tell that he had hurt himself. And because I am his mother, I could also tell it was an injury that could be fixed with a band-aid and a kiss, or at worst, a popsicle. So I finished what I was doing before making my way to the scene of the accident.
When I got outside, he was in his father’s arms. Big juicy crocodile tears were spilling down his cheeks.
“What’s going on here?” I asked, “Are you okay?”
“Noooo!” he howled as he reached both arms straight out for me, his face artificially twisted in anguish.
He sobbed into my neck as I carried him into the house. I sat him down on the kitchen counter to inspect the injuries and he showed me the palms of his hands. They were slightly pink and smarting from where he had caught himself when he had fallen on the concrete. He showed me his knees. Also slightly pink. A thorough search was made, but not one drop of blood could be found. I looked into his dirty little boy face. His tears had left a trail of clean. I tried not to smile given the gravity of the situation.
I told him how sorry I was that he had hurt himself and I wrapped my arms around him. He clutched me tight around the neck and worked up a few more sobs which he bellowed into my ear to demonstrate the searing pain he was suffering. “My sweet boy” I whispered over and over into his ear as I gently rocked him from side to side.
He continued to work it, the crying, for another half minute as I held him close. Not because he was still hurt, but because…. Well, just because.