Learning From Babies Lesson #12 – It’s Going to be OK

You know your child’s’ cry it’s as distinct as their laughter. I heard my daughter Imara crying the other day at the playground. I couldn’t see her, so I started to walk towards the cries, then I saw her coming towards me tears streaming down her cheeks.

My first instinct as daddy is to ask what happened, but you get nowhere with questions. Kids are experts at crying and talking, but they won’t do both at the same time.

Fortunate for me on that day I have Batman. The Caped Crusader himself is my six-year-old nephew Ethan who is best buddies with Imara despite the fact he is two years older and generally prefers playing with older kids.

Today Ethan is Batman, and tomorrow it will be Captain America or another of the Avengers. I try my best to remember his current superhero name because it gives me enormous leverage.

When I ask Ethan to do something he does but with the finesse of a 6-year-old boy. But if I tell Batman to do something, he does it with excellence. And the sound effects are for free.

At the playground, I squat down to hug a crying Imara. I try to console her. I tell her I’m sorry, I tell her it’s going to be OK, and I tell her daddy’s here. But I still want to know what happened, so I turn and look at my nephew and say “Batman, please tell me what happened.”

The boy will make a good reporter one day; basically one kid was playing rough, accidentally pushed another child who then bumped into Imara.

Sure enough, there comes another sobbing child. She is the one who bumped into Imara, and she is crying tears of unfairness. It’s not her fault she wails; it was some other kid that pushed her. We now have two crying children. Again I say the same thing. I’m sorry for what happened and that it was going to be OK.

Just then the mother of the 2nd crying child comes and comforts her daughter and repeats almost the same thing “I know you didn’t mean to sweetheart, and I’m sorry that kid pushed you, and it’s going to be OK.”

And it did end up being OK. In less than a minute or so, both kids stopped crying, Batman and Imara shared a hug, and off they went to play. Later on, to celebrate a great day, we all ate ice cream.

Maybe that’s all we need for a happy life; comfort and assurance. Someone to understand your cries, soothe your heart and gives you the affirmation that you are going to be OK.

But there is an important distinction to be made here. OK is not the same as perfect. At least here on earth, everything will never be perfect. You are guaranteed a few tears along the way. People, society and even life itself will bump into you.

However, I’m learning from my daughter that the belief in the idea that you will be OK regardless of what happens is often the belief that makes us go the farthest.

So know this, whatever you are going through, maybe not now and maybe not tomorrow but my dear friend eventually, you will be OK. I say this with confidence because despite it all you are still standing.

To go further know It’s OK to hurt. Just take a minute for yourself. Go ask for a hug, cry those tears, then wipe those tears, then go out and play.

And off course don’t forget the ice cream.

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