My toddler son was recently given a book of Disney stories. We have read one or two of them each day for the past few months.
He is captivated.
One of his favorite things to do is to have us read a story and then ask to see a clip of that same movie via You Tube. Somewhere along the line, he started asking to see clips of the villains of each story. He’s really into Sleeping Beauty right now and as an extension, wants to watch clips of the villain, Maleficent. Maleficent fascinates him but also scares him. He is two and is too young to understand what a character is, but we told him she is just a character.
“She is pretend,” we say.
He acts like he understands that, but seconds later will ask if Maleficent will be coming over to our house scare him.
His fear has escalated to the point where he will be eating lunch and suddenly look around and say, “Mommy protect me so Maleficent doesn’t come get me.” I hug him and tell him that his Daddy and I will protect him and that we love him.
At dinner he did something he has never done.
He grabbed my hand as we were both eating and wouldn’t let go.
He was scared. A couple times I tried to take back my hand so I could cut some of my food, and I wanted to see if he would forget that he needed the comfort of holding my hand. He didn’t. He would grab it again right away. So, I looked at my 2 year old’s hand, clutching mine, and the fear mixed with tentative comfort in his face,
and I held on.
I decided to happily eat my dinner one handed. If my little guy needed his Mommy that bad, and needed the comfort of holding my hand, so be it. I think sometimes as parents we discount a child’s fears if they don’t seem reasonable to us. I do this at times, just as we all do. But this time, I decided to hold onto that little hand.
I would pour my love through my fingers to this little guy who needed it.
Someday when his hand is larger than mine, I will look back on this with love in my heart and I’ll smile.