We go through a lot of bandaids in our house (a lot!) – to the point where we’ll buy the Costco size of utilitarian bandaids and keep only one small box of fun, character printed ones. Once the fun box is out, Bea is stuck with the tan-colored ones.
When the fun box is full, any perceived scrape or cut or hurt feeling needs a bandaid. When they are gone, wounds seem to heal faster and often without the help of that protective strip.
My first year of teaching, our school health advisor (do not use the title nurse!!) dropped off a large box of bandaids so that I could take care of any non-life-threatening paper cuts. I hoarded those bandaids! A kid had to be actively spurting blood to get one.
After the winter break, our health advisor came around again with a new box and was surprised to see my almost-full one still in the top drawer of my desk.
You know, we have a ton of these. Don’t worry about using them up. There’s always more, she told me.
That first year of teaching, I had a weird sense of pride about not giving out bandaids. I wasn’t going to teach kids to be overly sensitive! This is the real world!! (Did I tell you I taught first grade that year?)
Over my years of teaching, I learned the value of a bandaid. Paper cuts, boredom, playground arguments all necessitated a bandaid. I moved the box to a spot in my desk that kids still needed permission to get to but where I didn’t mind them going without my help.
I learned that a small acknowledgment of a wound – however real or imaginary – healed so much more than the cut itself.
Now, when Bea asks for a bandaid, I give her a hug and say, Wow! That looks like it hurt! What can we do to make it better?
Sometimes, a hug or a glass of cold water is all it takes. Other times, the only thing that will suffice is a pink bandaid. But ultimately, that acknowledgment is what heals the wounds the quickest.
Parents, are you generous or stingy with the bandaids? What are some ways you see beyond the immediate wound and acknowledge the hurt in others?
Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “heal.”