Friday, May 10, 2013

Five Minutes of Comfort

Jumping in to Five Minute Friday again this week, hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker aka The Gypsy Mama. She gives a one word prompt and we write for five minutes flat, then hit publish. No editing. 

No editing sometimes makes me twitch, but breaking the rules would be far worse so here it is-five minutes, unedited...the word today is comfort.

Some babies take a pacifier and some suck their thumb...others refuse both and are difficult to comfort. My mother says I was an easy, content baby, and a champion thumb sucker from the word go. It was my greatest source of comfort, and what I needed to put myself to sleep.   

Across my palms are three long scars. One is fairly pronounced, but you'd likely never know they were there unless I showed them to you.

When I was a year old we moved from Hawaii to New Mexico to live with my grandparents while my dad was stationed in Okinawa. There were four of us kids, my two older siblings ages eight and six, me age one, and my newborn baby sister who had a difficult first year of life, struggling with illness and unable to adequately gain weight.

My grandparents had a very small house, but they happily made room for their daughter and her brood, and were a huge help to my mama that year. Their house was older and it still had furnace grates in the floor.  One fine day I crawled across that grate and burned my baby hands something fierce.

I cannot imagine my mother's terror.

Or her guilt and sorrow.

Or having to tell my dad who was half a world away.

The doctors bandaged my hands, my whole hands, and my mother tells me my greatest distress was my tightly wrapped thumb. She took me back to the doctor the next day, and my hands were rewrapped to free my thumb.


When I think back on my childhood I don't remember the trauma of that day, although I suspect my mama does. I only remember feeling loved my whole life.

That's me sitting in the sunshine on my grandparents porch on a crystal clear Albuquerque day. I look happy and why shouldn't I?  After all, I have my very own baby doll wrapped in a soft blue blanket and, most importantly, my thumb free and available.

Life was good.   


  1. Love this post and it seemed to urge writing about children, childhood, sweet moments. Dropping in from Five Minute Friday.

  2. First I love your picture. You look so happy, even with your hands bandaged up! Second I just love that though as children we have many physical pains, yours of course very nerve-wrecking, but you remembered most of all that unconditional love your parents gave you and the comfort you felt through it all. Such a comfort to know that love is stronger than any physical ailment or pain.


  3. One of my sons burned his hands badly on our woodstove. I had to bandage his hands fresh every morning and evening after applying a soothing ointment. And, yes, I had to always take care to leave his thumb free!
    Great post.

    visiting from FMF --

  4. Oh, that is so sweet! Our daughter absolutely loved her thumb and I thought it was the sweetest thing ever. She says to this day that she well remembers the comfort that thumb sucking gave her. Another great post!

  5. Such a sweet post Joyce and such an adorable photo.

  6. What an incredible post especially in light of mother's day. Finding comfort as a gift God gives us is certainly true.

  7. A lovely post and so glad you didn't remember the trauma.

  8. No editing problem. Great post, my daughter had two pacifiers at all times...maybe it was good she didn't do the thumb :)

    Have a great weekend.

  9. Great writing in 5 unedited minutes, and a precious picture. I burned my backside on floor furnace grates a few times and I remember that it hurt a lot. Hmm? I'll have to check for scars.

  10. Wow! What a great job you did in five minutes--and with no editing!
    All three of my children were thumb suckers. They'd have been devastated to have had their thumbs wrapped, too :)

  11. What a lovely post. You were adorable!! I love that happy smiley baby picture!

  12. Oh goodness - I'll bet that night was one of the longest in your mom's life. A fussy infant, a toddler in pain and unable to soothe herself, no husband to be found and everyone packed into a house where she was probably feeling a bit bad about imposing and then a big ol' dose of guilt . . .

    I'd have marched you back to the doctor too!

  13. When you know you're loved, even the painful times are minimized, especially in childhood. Parents make all the difference in the world.

  14. Oh I bet your Mama remembers in great detail! My son got hurt on his father's watch when he was three and I remember every detail of the 1.5 hour car ride, which I made in record time... whom I called to stay calm while I drove and what was said. My son hardly remembers at all!

    I think it's a blessing that children mostly remember the love.