Tears, sobbing, more tears. Everyone else was in bed last night and I was dealing with a crying 11-year-old girl who has such a fear of pain that she was reduced to a sobbing mess. She has this thing on her foot that needs to be lanced, in my opinion, but she wouldn't let me touch it. When I mentioned that the doctor is going to do the same thing, she started sobbing even louder.
It had already been an emotional day for the two of us, me helping her navigate a world of deep emotions and her trying to figure out all the emotions. I knew that we needed to end the day on a good note if at all possible.
It was late and I told her that we would just forget the whole thing for now, deal with it in the morning and why don't we just go to bed now. She quietly whispered, "I just want to snuggle."
Now, my family is definitely demonstrative in our love for each other. We hug them frequently, touch often. We snuggle our little ones every day. As a matter of fact, I'm expecting our four-year-old to shuffle into the room at any moment because he has a radar for knowing when I'm awake. But our big girl doesn't get snuggles every day because she's, well, big. So when a big girl that desperately wants to be treated like a big kid asks for snuggles I knew it was important.
I pulled her over the comfy chair in the corner of my room and I held her, stroking her hair, rubbing her back, for about 15 minutes. Her breathing calmed, the snot stopped running, she relaxed. When she started joking around I knew that she was better. We prayed together and she went off to bed.
As I sat there after she left, I knew that was probably the most important 15 minutes of my day. It is so easy for me to focus on the little kids all the time because they make their needs known so loudly! But I mustn't neglect the needs of my big kids either. They might not make as much noise about what they need, but it doesn't diminish their importance.
Have you snuggled with your tween today?