My daughter stood in the kitchen with me as I put dishes away. I turned my head and whacked it hard into the corner of an open cupboard door. My head throbbed as I cried out in pain. You know, that cry of agony right before your ability to breathe disappears momentarily.
My daughter cried out, "Mommy!" After a moment, I managed to say, "I'm okay, honey. It just hurts. But I'll be fine.”
She stood beside me as I held my head. She gently patted my arm and gave me a sweet hug. She just waited with me as the pain slowly receded.
When I could talk better, I said to her, “You are good at comforting. Where did you learn how to do that? She says, "From you."
It was one of those moments when I thought, “I guess I'm doing something right in my parenting.”
We can't prevent people from hurting. And we can't speed the pain along. But we can offer a gentle presence. We can wait along side someone who is hurting. And while offering a calm, quiet presence, we might show others how to comfort, too.