My eight-month-old Ellie is well. Thank you for your well wishes. She’s wearing her second of two casts now and only has to wear it for four more weeks! Her doctor put her in a second cast because she was growing out of the first one.
Four weeks … that’s easy enough. We can make it. While worrying about our younger daughter, my wife and I sometimes struggle to best understand our older daughter’s concerns about her little sister.
Six years old and still my “boo”…that’s my oldest daughter. She naturally worried about her sister’s recent surgery to repair hip dysplasia (legs being out of their sockets). Ironically, it’s the same surgery she had to have six years ago.
I asked her recently, “What kept you from getting upset when Ellie was having her surgery?”
She said, “I pictured a flower and it reminded me of a flower on Ellie’s sock, and it made me not worry.” If only it was always that easy for all us, huh?
She did worry prior to the procedure. She would tear up when talking about the surgery. My wife and I didn’t have her at the hospital with us that day back in July. She did visit her baby sister in her hospital room later that afternoon. With wires attached to her and an oxygen tube in her nose, baby Ellie enjoyed seeing her big sis, especially as her sis stroked the hair just above her forehead. My oldest daughter even wrote Ellie a letter. In it, she told her sister that she knows what she’s going through.
“You’ll be OK,” it read.
Yes, little people are little. But often times, they have enormous hearts. Don’t downplay their concerns. When you think your child is worried, start looking for answers by turning to your heart.
Jay Hardy is the father of a six-year-old and a baby in Holly Springs. He's a former sports photographer and reporter for WRAL-TV. Find him here once a month on Wednesdays.