“A splinter is a fragment of a larger object (especially wood), or a foreign body that penetrates or is purposely injected into a body. The foreign body must be lodged inside tissue to be considered a splinter. It usually must be removed manually to relieve the pain.”
Yesterday, my 5 year old was swinging on our wooden playground and rubbed his foot on some wood, and got not one, not two, but THREE splinters in his foot!! At first, he was pretty tough about it, but as the day wore on, he was in a lot of pain. We didn’t see the splinters clearly until they were already causing an infection in his foot. Touching anywhere near the splinters sent him crying and grabbing his leg.
I pulled out the tweezers and the hydrogen peroxide and went to work. As soon as he saw those tweezers he panicked and started crying. The first round of this was really for me just to see what we had here. I did a little work, but then eased off, bandaged it up, and let him play some more. Then a few hours later, we went in again. Each time we did this, I was making a little more progress. But it hurt him. So much so that he would just see the tweezers coming, and start crying.
How do you convince a 5 year old that although it hurts now, that this is actually making it better? That once we get through this – the pain will go away?
Finally, at the last attempt, I iced it first (which was also a tough convince) and then went in. I knew that this final time I had enough skin pulled away that I could grab each splinter. I went for the longest one first, so he could see how cool it was that long of things was in his foot!! When I showed him, he got a big smile. Jaxon!! This was IN your foot buddy!! You are SO tough!! Then, I went for the next, a little deeper, but small. He made it through just fine. But lastly, was the one I had been digging on the most. It was deep. I had his sisters talk to him, and I told him to hold his breath, and then I dug one more time and pulled it out!!
It was the biggest splinter I had ever seen!!! And here he had gone the whole day like that!! All because he didn’t want to face the pain of the tweezers.
It got me thinking….how many times do I leave painful things in my life because I don’t want to go through the pain of removing them? Even though I know it will be better once it is gone, it HURTS!! Maybe it’s a habit, maybe it’s a relationship, maybe it’s a situation…whatever it is that is bringing us pain, I often will leave buried in the skin because I don’t want to face getting it out.
So today, my 5 year old gave me the confidence I needed to stop doing some of the things in my life that are causing pain. To stop allowing certain things in my life to cause me pain. To stop accepting painful situations just because it is how it’s always been. He taught me that you can get through it and you can smile on the other side.
How? To look UP. To be STILL and Know that God is in control. To remember that sometimes pain gets us to where we need to be. Lastly – to remember that pain often has a purpose.
Anything that brings humility in our lives, and points us to God…can be good. Even if it hurts.
Thank you Jaxon for teaching your mommy a very important lesson tonight!! I will go start the painful process of removing some splinters from my life today – AND being thankful for the lessons they taught me while they were around. Removing the pain will always be worth it… we just need to see the purpose!!
P31 Fitness Founder