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Bubbly Explorer
Photo: Erika Gladden
My one-year-old son is a bubbly, good-natured and very active little guy. He loves to explore all of his surroundings.

Just recently, some friends invited us over for lunch. After we finished our meal and sat down to talk, my son decided to explore. He wanted to touch the books (not the cardboard kind made for babies) and he wanted to touch the candles and decorative items sitting around the house. My husband and I, as well as our friends, went scurrying around “baby proofing” their house. It seemed as though right when you put one item away, he was into the next. Before we all knew it, he was headed right into danger—the fireplace. It was a cold day and the electric fireplace had been on but had just been turned off because it was getting to warm in the house. My bubbly little explorer reached out and touched the hot, gold plates of metal on the front of the fireplace. At first, he didn’t cry, but moments later, he burst into tears as his hand hurt from the burn. We went home to bandage the red blistered skin of his tender little hand and to comfort him.

Protect Him from Pain

My little explorer learned that day that not everything is an exciting adventure. We put him down for his nap as he sniffled himself to sleep. I looked in on him sleeping with his bandaged hand and asked myself, “why couldn’t I have seen it coming?" “Why wasn’t I able to stop him in time?" I had to realize that getting hurt, as hard as it is, is part of life and I can’t protect him from all pain as much as my mommy-self wants to.

This incident reminds me of how God tries to help us through the obstacles of life. He tries to “baby proof” the way for us, but realizes He cannot always keep our “hands from getting burned." We feel pain in life and we learn from our mistakes and we hopefully choose to avoid making them again if we can help it.

My son woke up from his nap smiling, as though he’d forgotten the pain he’d endured just hours earlier. That taught me a lesson that even though we make mistakes and get hurt, we can still wake up happy and look forward to the new adventures awaiting us.

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By Erika Gladden. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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