I love the fact that there are doctors and scientists who have developed vaccines that help keep my little Lydie healthy.
I hate that it hurts when those vaccines have to be injected in her little chunky legs.
I hate that when things hurt my little Lydie she sometimes cries (and screams, and turns red, and shakes her little fists, and quivers her little chin... and cries).
I love that Joe and I get to be the ones holding her (rocking, bouncing, cuddling) calming her down.
I know that chances are it's going to be A LOT worse than it was today at times. I mean, we live in a broken world and there's pain and heartache and disappointment, I get that. I just didn't realize until those little tears streamed down her sweet little face that Lydie, my little Lydie, was going to have to face that kind of pain.
Part of me wants to protect her from all of it. Just hole up in our little apartment, far away from needles and other things that can hurt her. But that wouldn't be good for her either. Pain... sucks, but it helps us learn. Where would I be if I never fell down, scraped my knee and felt pain? Where would I be if I had never experienced the heartaches and disappointments? C.S. Lewis put it well in The Problem of Pain when he said this:
"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
As strange as it is, I don't want to protect Lydie from all pain. Don't get me wrong, I won't be leaving piles of glass and rusty nails around for her to hurt herself. It is certainly not my desire to create pain for her. However, I don't think it is our job as parents to shelter our children from any and all pain. No, our job is to tell her that pain does exist and she will experience it and that when she does... listen. It's our job to help her, as best we can, to understand and discover what God may be shouting to her little heart. Maybe it's something simple, like "Listen to Mom, she's trying to keep you safe". Perhaps, though, it could be something much more difficult to understand, something like "God is sovereign".
No matter how hard it is, I want my little girl to feel that pain. I want her to listen to it. I want her to learn from it.
But I'd really be alright if she never, ever, ever had to get another shot.