- Adhesives to fix the things that break. Packing tape, scotch tape, duct tape, school glue, super glue… we have them all. While there are kids in the house, I have to be resolved to the fact that things get broken and need to put back together, including my patience. Both of my kids have gotten so frustrated at times that they’ve torn up a favorite piece of artwork only to regret it five minutes later. My own mood has frayed to the point that I want to break things too. Glue is the stuff that pulls things back together. In our house, a hug is the glue that binds us back together when we get pulled apart.
- Erasers to fix the mistakes. We keep pencil erasers, Mr. Clean magic erasers, and spot remover to undo the things that got messed up. Sometimes we have a “do over” on the whole day when everyone’s out of sorts and things got off to a bad start. It’s amazing what erasing the past, even the past five minutes, can do for your outlook.
- Band-aids to fix the hurts. I keep all different sizes to cover everything from a paper cut to a brush burn. Sometimes the cut is so little that I can’t even see it and yet my child wants a band-aid. These are the times I know that what he really needs is the kiss that comes with it, the reassurance that everything’s going to be okay, even when he’s in pain.
- Thermometers to diagnose the severity of a situation. You can put you hand on a child’s forehead and know instantly whether it’s a fever or not, but the doctor always asks for the exact temperature. Being aware of the details helps you gauge what’s not obvious on the outside. Sometimes children can’t tell you in words what it is that’s ailing them, and your attentiveness is what draws it out.
- Blankets to provide comfort. We have big blankets and little ones, but the most important thing is that they’re soft and warm. Did you ever notice how common it is to want to wrap yourself in a blanket, not only when you’re cold, but also when you’re lonely and sad? The most important thing a family can be is that big fuzzy blanket of security and comfort over our shoulders.
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