it hurts

The absolute VERY WORST part of Joe’s recent case of hand foot and mouth is in fact NOT that his fingers and toes are now peeling off like snake skin, but that he learned to say I hurt. I think we kept asking him over and over, does this hurt? Does that hurt? And eventually he started to understand and agree. Now he says it gratuitously, because he knows how, it hurts, it hurts, like he’s remembering when it Did. I could’ve waited another like, five years, if not for forever, for him to learn about pain. I was getting a pedicure today and the woman was sanding the skin off of the bottom of my feet in a bad way, and I was grimacing, and she asked, does it hurt? And I smiled and said no, I’m good! Because I didn’t want her to feel bad, or think she wasn’t good at her job, I wanted to protect her, so I just sat there in in quiet pain while she scrubbed. Maybe learning about pain and how to say that IT HURTS is a bite of the forbidden fruit, but it’s also the very beginnings of boundaries and protecting yourself. So like everything else, Joe, I hope that you learn everything, but only the things that keep you Safe, not the things that scare you, I hope that you’re free and unbound, but also that you’re never not close by. I wish all of it for you, even the things I know I can’t stop.

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