Day 11: Worried

I put the kids to bed and plopped down on the living room couch.  “Mommmmmmm,” I heard Maddie call from her bedroom.  I gathered up some energy and went back up the stairs.  That’s when I heard her crying.

“What’s wrong, Maddie?” I asked as I sat on the edge of her bed.  “What is it, sweetheart?”

“I can’t get the word cavity out of my head.  We learned about it at school today and I can’t stop thinking about it.  It means your tooth rots. I don’t want to get a cavity!,” she told me through her sniffles.

We talked at length about cavities.  I tried logic and empathy and humor. Nothing worked.  Nothing I said stopped her tears from falling.  I could see her eyes in the dark room, and they were swollen from crying.

I sat in silence for a moment, trying to decide what to say next.  Suddenly, Maddie crawled up into my lap and lay her head on my shoulder.  I wrapped my arms around her and hugged her tight.  We stayed like that for a long time – hugging, in the silence.  Eventually, she said, “Okay, good night, Mommy” and found her way back to her pillow.  I kissed her cheek and closed the door softly behind me.

Sometimes words can’t stop the worry.  Sometimes what you need is a good cry and a hug from someone who loves you.


I’m writing a Slice of Life Story every day for the month of March as part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge. See more at Two Writing Teachers.



20 thoughts on “Day 11: Worried

  1. So true! Cavities exist as well as all kinds of terrible things in life. Hugs are the best cure for me as well 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. So true! It’s surprising on what kids fixate. I often find myself in similar situations and could totally relate when you said “I sat in silence for a moment, trying to decide what to say next.” I felt the mind spinning trying to figure out what you can do next only to come up with…I don’t know. Apparently – you figured it out! 🙂

  3. Hugging in silence is often better than talking it out. You knew just what Maddie needed.

    BTW: At some point, I need to tell you about Isabelle’s obsession with flourosis. The plus side: We educated about it and got her to stop swallowing her toothpaste last year. The downside: She constantly worries about her adult teeth having flourosis. She’s even sought out photos of it (with Marc’s help) on the internet.

  4. What a way to explain that, a good cry and a hug from someone that loves you. I think I need to explain that to my husband. He always asks me how he can help me when I’m sad, so I think I’ll explain it that way.

  5. Kind of the same thing at our house, but not a specific. This morning, my favorite boy said, “Thank you for helping me get rid of that anxiety last night.”

  6. Love this! My husband has learned that usually, the best way to calm my anxiety is to just snuggle me until I want to talk. And it works! So glad you shared this moment!

  7. So sweet.. Poor Maddie. I don’t blame her I don’t want cavities either.
    Isn’t it great when we don;t have to find the right words.. just be there..

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