Bruises and Blisters
Anyone who has read my blog knows that I have two precious girls, Coryn and Claire. Coryn is a hearty, happy four-year-old (at the moment) and Claire is just past six months, also happy and hearty but still a pudgy-full baby unlike her lean and tall sister (I've had people comment on how muscular Coryn is for a preschooler.) who has grown out of all her baby fat.
Claire has really taken off in the last month or so, from sprouting teeth to increasing her mobility. She isn't crawling yet, but she gets around as if she were by doing the "military crawl," pulling her body forward with just her arms. Before she would wriggle and roll her way around the living room but couldn't really control where she was going. Now she sets her sights on something (my legs, the cat, the dog bowl. . .ugh. . .) and goes for it. She loves to abandon us in the computer room and independently scoot her way across the hall to her sister's bedroom where she'll crawl over and play the piano (you can see a video of her doing this in this post) or just examine the toys and books that Coryn has inevitably left lying about.
Mobility, however, comes with a cost. The first day she was left to her own devices, no where dangerous, just chasing the cat in circles around the living room, I picked her up and found two red marks on her forehead, presumably from bumping into chair legs. They weren't really bruises and they disappeared without a trace before the end of the day, but I felt something akin to horror because her skin has always been so baby soft and. . .well. . .perfect, peaches and cream baby perfect skin. . .and things only got worse from there. That evening I picked her up for cuddles and saw a terrible, awful, bright pink blister on the bottom of her baby foot! Her precious, pudgy, perfect baby foot! It had a blister! Oh the horror!
Yes, baby skin is perfect. It is soft and pure and beautiful, but it is so fragile. Every time she expands her world she takes that skin into peril. She rolls around on the dusty floor and picks up dirt. She bangs her head against chairs. Puts her mouth of the family pets. Rubs her lovely feet against the hard wood floors and gets A BLISTER!!!
My first instinct was to give her socks, but that would adversely effect her traction and she really loves her freedom (though the next day she did manage to get around very well while wearing footy pajamas; she's very persistent.).
So I need to just prepare myself for many many more scrapes, bumps, bruises and blisters because she's not stopping here. I remember when Coryn started crawling. She literally crawled the skin off her legs. No, I'm not using literally incorrectly. I'm using it to mean literally there were patches of bleeding, open wounds on her legs. Our first pediatrician dismissed them as carpet burns and with military doctors being what they are, I've never gotten a better diagnosis than that even though the sores/rash/scabbing persisted well past the crawling stage (it doesn't help that Coryn is a scratcher. If something itches, she'll take her skin off trying to make it stop. . .her bed sheets often have dots of blood all over them, and it is only now starting to really heal up). I know that crawling leads to walking. Walking leads to falling (Coryn's first word was "Boom" as in "Fall down and go boom!"). Then running which leads to crashing. Jumping. Bumping. Bouncing. Banging. . omgosh! When does it stop?1?!?!
Before too long I won't be able to look at her legs for the shame over what was once pristine baby skin but now sort of looks like an add for a plaque psoriasis medication.
So what is a mother to do? I'm not sure if this is my answer, but it's what's in my head:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2
Water and heat can be hard on skin. God never promised we wouldn't have to go through trials but He did promise that they wouldn't consume us. I guess Claire's scratches and scrapes won't consume her either and while her baby skin might not be prettier for it, it will definitely be stronger when those blisters turn to callouses and she crawls on like a mighty little warrior.