January 14, 2009

Gabriel at Night

My son Gabriel who is 22 months old had growing pains last night. At some ungodly hour he started, began moaning, and then sobbing loudly. When we asked what was wrong he simply cried "hurts" and pointed down at his legs, a much simpler and direct diagnosis than is found in medical literature which describes these pains as "non-inflammatory musculoskeletal pain syndromes, non-articular, inter-mittent bilateral aches" (but so far provides no clues as to why they occur).

Holding Gabriel's legs tight made him feel better; his moans dissolved into whimpers, and he faded back into sleep. When we would let go of his his legs, even in slumber, he would guide our hands back. I have foggy memories of my own growing pains and I have no idea if someone held my legs, but I distinctly felt the rush of sense memory so I think it must have happened. And in those half remembered moments in the middle of the night you also get the impression that this memory will be passed on through some subterranean reptilian channel. And I wonder which is the deeper comfort: knowing on some primitive level that someone is there to hold your legs at night when they hurt, or being the person who was able to be there?

posted at 03:50 AM by raul

Filed under: on kids


01/14/09 04:21 AM

24 and single, even now I'm scared to death of being a parent; I'm maybe too determined to make it perfect.
However, whenever I read about your family my fears suddenly dissolve. I just know everything's going to be OK.

01/14/09 12:52 PM

I would say the same thing... your writing and pictures about parenthood make it all seem ok. My friends who become parents sometimes morph into people I don't know. You help me understand them and in a weird way my own 29 year old realization that maybe this is what I have wanted all along.

01/14/09 02:39 PM

My son, Gabriel (:-), who is now a grown, tall man, suffered from those pains too.

For the bones and joints, the pediatrician recommended a gel or spray with camphor, the type you use for sore muscles after practicing some sports. It really helped ease the pain while I waited till he would fall asleep again.

When he was older, he used the gel himself. Just a heads up, boys grow until they're 21 :-)

During the day, he would ask me to scratch his back: the growth spur was so, that the skin would itch as it was stretching. That usually happened during the growth pain periods.

As I read your post, I realized that I too had remembered my own grow pains while I was soothing Gabriel's pain, so he could go back to sleep.

01/16/09 05:28 PM

My grandmother once told me when I was a little boy that all children must one day grow into adults and that being an adult was not an easy task, so hence the pains in our legs as we grew. I did not understand her at the time nor could I have believed that I would grow as she had said, into a man. Anyways she use to do this for my mother and my mother use to do this for me... run very warm water over your son's legs (both my grandmother and mother would make the water very hot, scalding in my opinion, but I must indeed live in an alternate universe for they tell me that they are always right and I do not know what I am talking about - but I say very warm water is fine) and give them a good rub for a few minutes and as you set him in bed place a heavy blanket over his legs. The heat dissolves the pain and allows for sleep to come.

02/04/09 04:13 PM

the are both deeply comforting. and oddly enough for me knowing that there are people to hold, and people to be held and who will do that for each other is just as deeply comforting. thank you for sharing that tidbit from your family life.

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