“Mouth hurts.” says my teething toddler.
I lie on the couch with Nicholas at 4am. It has been 3 days without power, water, and intermittent cellular service. While we have a generator, we turn it off at night.
In the cold, pitch black early morning, I try rocking him, teething gel, and offering him juice.
So, I just hold him, while he moans in pain. He sleeps here and there for a few minutes at a time.
I feel the frustration rise from within me, while he is cradled under my arm. Thoughts rush my mind. What else can I do to help him? What can I do for just a few more minutes of sleep? (selfish I know) When will my power coming back on?
I feel helpless… useless.
But then I have this realization that maybe, just holding him is enough.
I imagine myself hurting …… I imagine those times when no words or medicine could heal …… and I remember the comfort that I felt from just a warm embrace.
I think …holding someone who is hurting is one of the greatest forms of empathy.
And while I know that, just being physically present is enough, …. for some reason …. at some point …. I got the impression that if I can’t fix someone’s else problem …. then I haven’t done anything to help.
I think of the times when others, close to me, have experienced great loss …. and I didn’t know what to do…. or say to make it better for them.
But then comes a gentle whisper… That’s not true.
Human touch is powerful.
We have all heard stories of the children who grow up in orphanages without an adult attachment because they weren’t held, or the elderly widow longing for a hug….
And while we need to respect personal boundaries…. maybe we need to utilize this powerful tool to show those we care about…. that we care.
It helps. It heals.
And maybe those of you who are already there, suffering alongside someone you deeply care for…. maybe your warmth, your presence is enough.
You are enough.
So, with this new mindset…. I hold Nicholas, until the sun rises, knowing that my hugs, my presence matters.