Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Bittersweet Story

Late one night, a couple of weeks ago, I woke to the sound of Mailia crying. I raced to her room not knowing what to think. This had never happened before. When I got to her she was laying in her bed and sobbing like her heart was broken. I tried to find out what was wrong but she couldn't stop crying long enough to tell me. I thought maybe she'd had a nightmare, but she shook her head no at that suggestion. Finally after several long minutes of just holding her, she managed to tell me that she'd swallowed her gum. Ok, but I still didn't know why she was crying. Well as it turned out, she had fallen asleep with gum in her mouth, then woke up and reached for a drink of water and accidently swallowed her gum. Her next words were like a punch to the stomach........"now I'm going to die" followed by more sobbing. To shorten the story, she was told by the caretakers at the orphanage, from the time she was very young, that gum is bad, and if you swallow it, you will die. She obviously believed this with her heart and soul. I very quickly and very adamantly explained that this is not true and then had her crawl in bed with me and her dad. Can you imagine the thoughts and fears she experienced in those few short minutes?!?!? She stuck to me like glue all night long and although she was just fine in the morning, she still asked me to tell her again that she was ok. I belong to the camp of those who tell their children as much (or as little) as they need to know. But I certainly don't believe in telling them such a horror story as this. My child was thoroughly traumatized, needlessly!


Anonymous said...

Oh Shirley, poor little M. I know your heart was just breaking of her. Now she knows she is o.k and hoping in the future that she comes to you with questions about things she was told to get the real story.

Susan and Kate
Tampa, FL

Sharon said...

Poor, sweet baby. That is just awful, Shirley. I'm so glad she was okay the next morning.


Jana said...

What a beautiful little lady you have growing up there! I love that picture.