I could tell by the pitch of the cry that something serious had gone awry!
Little M came to me s.o.b.b.i.n.g., holding a broken toy in her little girl hands.
"She did it on PURPOSE!! It is BROKEN!!! SHE. BROKE. MY. TABLE!!!!"
Of course, she was referring to Sweet K, who'd lost her balance and toppled over onto a toy, snapping it in half. A little pink table for the doll house that the girls got for Christmas. The beloved doll house that receives many hours of play. I could see that this was going to be an issue!!
Holding her as she wept, I assessed the situation. And panicked slightly. I am not very good at fixing things, and yet there was a part of me that desperately wanted to soothe my little girls' heart. It seems like such a "little problem" to have, and yet there's nothing like watching your child cry through a broken heart that sets every parental fiber in your being on edge; the desire to ease the ache, regardless of the cause, becomes so very strong.
The table was in two very jagged little pieces. The crises of life are seldom smooth and clean-cut. I could see this would take a bit of creativity (and a bit of hot glue and duct tape!!) to mend it back together. Then, in a flash of inspiration, I promised Little M a trip to the sewing room. There, she was free to pick a piece of fabric, which we would fashion into a little table cloth, to cover the unsightly wound and tacky duct tape! Instantly the tears dried, and we were off on an adventure. The table has been put to good use once again, and the table cloth has found multiple uses as well :). All's well that ends well.
In her 4-year-old-world anyway. But not in mine. I am far too aware that there will be heartaches to come that are less easy to tend to; far messier, far deeper. Where I'll have to face my own limitations and inability to fix it and make it right, and allow her the freedom and support to begin to navigate life's persnickity circumstances.
Until then, we practice and pray! We work through the situations of life that rise up already - working out our responses to the big and little things that come our way. And we pray. For guidance. For wisdom. For special mentors and teachers that will help to shape our children.
And, as the waves of life come and go, we sit together quietly until things have passed; listening, learning and leaning. We practice love with St. Francis' approach to preaching --- "when necessary, use words."