We’re not sure when it began, but Sam has started to say It’s okay whenever he is hesitant or scared or sad. This could be as simple as oatmeal for breakfast instead of the usual cheerios: It’s okay (not what I expected, but I like oatmeal too); or after dropping one of his Thomas trains: It’s okay (oh no, I’ll pick you up!). Wearing a particularly nasty diaper: It’s okay (can you change me?); or upon arrival at a new friend’s house: It’s okay (as long as you stay with me, mommy).
I’m told that this is fairly typical, self-calming behavior. After all, how many of us say the same thing to ourselves as we go through our day, just not out loud?
It breaks my heart, though, to hear the vulnerability in his little boy voice, the sadness and fear of new things: It’s okay. I hold him tight and tell him with as much certainty I can muster Baby, it is okay. And much of the time, it is. It is okay and he’s a little braver and a little more sure of himself each time he says it. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Talking ourselves through the tough moments.
I’m a little braver too — I’ve been saying It’s okay for some time — one whole year since our diagnosis.