Safe place...

Nov 20, 2019

Max is our adventurous child.  But the perfect sort of adventurous, the kind that wants to sit on your lap while trying a new food, or explores new experiences with excited trepidation but only if it falls within the current set of rules.  He doesn't dart in the street to feel the rush of playing human frogger, or stick gum from under the table into his mouth to test his immunities.  He trusts his gut, is always two steps away from a handhold and and one step away from adventure.

But the most unique part about Maxwell is his straight up fear of being embarrassed.  He is willing to try anything but not at the risk of breaking rules or being laughed at.  He is shy and sensitive but not in a way that is obvious.  He doesn't cling to my leg from fear, but hesitantly explores, and then lets the emotions wash over him.  He likes to know what is expected of him, and to realize that he did something wrong gives him a sense of unease. 

Chris found the picture below the other day and reminded me of how when Max was reprimanded as a toddler, he would run to the closest shower and cry.  EVERY SINGLE TIME.  The shower was his safe space.

Max still needs a safe space, and yesterday when his face fell and I knew the tears were coming, I followed him up the stairs and handed him his current comfort item, as he calmly and gently repeated on loop "I don't need you right now", I gave him a hug, walked away, and told him I would be there if he did.  I think sometimes this is all I can do, even if I am inclined to be a hover parent and take irrational steps to avoid seeing my kids cry, possibly to the detriment of creating better human beings, I will always be their safe place if and when their first choice fails.