Inhaling the heat on the skin and the unwanted scent of illness in the small body, you can use more than eyes to observe illness in a child. The activated response to a smell of a dry nappy becoming wet, alerts you to the need for a swift change. Opening the door to smell if there is petrichor in the air before it starts to rain, lets you know if the children will need coats to keep them dry. When a sudden whiff of Sudocrem joins you in the kitchen, you know you need to follow the trail to confiscate the pot and start the clean up operation on everywhere that you cherub has covered with this villain.
When silence falls in a chatty house, you need to peek to see who’s turn it is being the ringleader in the mischief being caused. When your child’s jangling zip on their boot gets further away from you in the playground, you need to follow the sound to keep them safely in ear shot. When you hear your child’s favourite toy fall, you pinpoint the exact location to reach your hand out to reunite it with its joyful owner. When you hear the whizz of the bike wheels coming towards you, you remind your child that you must always be aware of all oncoming dangers and wait to cross safely. As you hear the squeal of joy escape from their perfectly formed lips, you join their celebration despite not being able to see what is exciting them.
Remembering the different feel of each of their coats, you help put them on the right child for them to go and warmly explore the great outdoors. Differentiating between the pristine feeling lunchbox of one and the scuffed one of the other, you pack their lunchboxes with their personal choices. Touching the top of your child’s head and feeling their unique hair type, you can tell the difference between your children of similar height. Cutting toe nails by touch, you learn to trust your judgement to do what others do by sight. Picking up toys with fingers on high alert, allows you to keep their favourite games together for the next time they want to play.
Knowing that they are going to fall before they do, allows you to be there to catch them. Tuning into the energy of their friends to know which will always make them happy, you are alert to those who will upset them and prepare youself to be there for them when they do. Knowing that you will not make the meeting as you need to be prepared, you are able to act calmly when the phone call from school comes when they have had an injury. Being assertive enough to tell doctors that they are wrong about it being a stomach bug and telling them it is actual a ruptured appendix, you don’t get shocked when they rush your child to theatre as you are just glad they caught it in time.
Memories of raising four beautiful children under the age of six, fills me with love and joy. These wildly different souls who are now adorable young adults, mesmerised me with their abilities as they grew. I may not have been able to see their expression filled faces or the true sweet mischief that they caused but I always saw their unique selves. Eyes only allow us to see what we want to see but other senses allow us to know on a deeper level. Maybe if I was gifted with sight from birth, I may not have known my children as I know them today. As my little cluster of beautiful being’s glide through life in whichever direction they want to take, I hope I can still learn from them each and everyday and see them exactly as they are.
I love you all in every way that you are.