As a kid, I heard this phrase more than a few times. Thankfully, I don’t think I ever heard it from my parents. I say thankfully, because I don’t think I would have taking so well. I’d have probably taken issue with them for saying something so nonsensical, and I was one to voice my issues. As I grew into a young adult, I would have still take issue with it. Even after I got married my feelings hadn’t changed. However, in 2003 I had a son, Xavier James, and my perspective has since shifted.
I still think that many people use this kind of phrase out of context, or to ease their own guilt. I even think that it’s common usage, just prior to a spanking, is probably no too realistic. However, there are plenty of things in life that hurt our kids a little, and hurt us parents a lot.
Take shots for example. Do you remember the first time you watched the pediatric nurse stick a needle into your kid’s thigh? Some kids squeal for a few seconds, Xavier didn’t make a sound, he just gave the nurse a dirty look. However, while it probably bothered him for a few seconds, I still remember it clearly. It most certainly hurt me more than him, and it’s a good thing for the nurse that logic tends to win over instinct. I was definitely conflicted, on one had I knew she was helping him, on the other hand she just stuck a sharp metal object in his leg.
Now, flash forward to June 2008 (just three months ago). Xavier bent his arm while we were on vacation. It’s called a Greenstick Fracture, and it meant that his bone needed to be straightened, which would cause more small fractures. Christen and I both went to the appointment when he got it straightened and got his cast. It was horrible. The doctor explained what was going to happen, and I help Xavier’s had to help him be strong. The doctor’s assistant held up the arm as the doctor wrapped it in the first layer of cast. While the cast was still wet and pliable, he put his hands on either side of Xavier’s fore arm, and pushed really hard. I hear the bone fracture multiple times as it straightened, and I felt Xavier’s hand clamp down on mine. As soon as Xavier caught his breath, he screamed. He didn’t cry, he didn’t yell, he screamed. Ten minutes later, the other layer of cast was on, we had re-X-Rayed the arm, and Xavier gave the doctor as smile and a high-five when the doctor asked Xavier if he still liked him.
That’s it! Ten minutes later X was fine! I however had a hard time describing the above, because it’s the most painful thing I’ve ever endured. I was hit by a truck when I was seven, life-flighted to the hospital, spent days there, got reconstructive plastic surgery to fix my face (including more stitches than the doctor and his nurse could count), wore a cast for weeks, etc. Still, sitting next to Xavier was more painful. I can’t imagine what my parents went through with me, and I’m a little scared at what else may be ahead in the life of an active little boy (he’s only 4, he’s got time!).
So there are definitely times when the physical pain belongs to the child, but the greater pain belongs to the adult. Please don’t cheapen this by misusing the phrase “This is going to hurt me, more than it’ll hurt you” …you’re not helping anyone.
So, what prompted this post? Jason and Nikki are in the hospital with Drew because of his Jaundice, and I think they are in a place where the majority of the pain clearly resides on the parents. As does the exhaustion.
Drew: get well.
Jason & Nikki: sleep well.
A new update from Jason: Hiccup