the morning started like any other, with much running around, jumping and chasing of the kitty while i got ready for work. and then the sudden and not terribly unusual THUD! that means he’s taken a tumble, followed by the also not terribly unusual brief fit of crying. so, i walked over to ask him where it hurts, not expecting to see BLOOD! ALL OVER HIS FACE! in the end, he had split his lip open, which is not The End of The World, but it turned big and fat within minutes and looked quite painful.
as we wiped him clean and macgyvered a frozen bag of peas to act as a cold compress, he repeatedly exclaimed between sniffles, “all. better. odin, all right. ” and “peas. make odin better.” if it were me, i’d have been sulking for hours, but within five minutes, odin was back to his usual routine, while still occasionally hollering, “ALL! BETTER!” as he ran from room to room.
the thing that’s odd is that i can’t really say that we try to encourage his stoicism, and we’re actually both quick to let him know that it’s completely fine to express his emotions when he’s hurt. if fact, we’d probably be a little happier if he didn’t seem insistent on so quickly proving to us that he’s able to buck up.
the part of me that loves to over analyze things, wonders if somehow despite our best efforts, we’re subtly and unintentionally reinforcing old cultural stereotypes about what it means to be “a man”. maybe it’s not just us, since it’s not usual for people to comment on what a “tough guy” he is, if he happens to nonchalantly brush off what might otherwise be a traumatic tumble.
or perhaps, sometimes kids are just born stoics.