Pacifiers and Trust
Stephanie Nelson Graybill
I need to take away my daughter’s pacifiers. She’s 3 years old now and still wants those nasty, rubbery things when she goes to bed. The color is even changing to a strange orange-like color, confirming to me that the pacifiers need to go.
She used to have 4. She’d suck on one while holding the other 3 in her little hands. With her pacifier, she settles down to sleep with her blankies. Without them, we’ve had many nights searching the house for the lost “pashers” as she calls them. I admit we’ve even run to the grocery store at 8 PM for replacement pacifiers. Maybe she’s not the only one addicted to her pacifiers.
A year ago, at her 2-year-old appointment, her doctor told me that the pacifiers needed to go. I resisted since she only used them at nap time and bedtime so it’s not like she walks around all day with a pacifier in her mouth. I mean, let’s leave the girl some comfort, right? But, after her 3-year-old party, I found myself on the floor once more, searching frantically for her lost pacifier, while my daughter stood watching and crying, unwilling to go to bed without it. That was a turning point for me: time for change!
So, this week we are slowly removing the pacifiers. I won’t make her go cold turkey; I’ll get rid of one and after a few days, the last one will disappear, too. As she goes through this process, I know she’ll cry and be uncomfortable and miss her normal routine. She will ask me to please go buy new pacifiers. She will lie in bed, pathetically sad and lonely for her little source of self-soothing. But I plan to be there with her. I will lie in bed with her as she cries, trying to soothe her and reassure her that she will be okay. I will wipe her tears and hold her hand. I will probably need to lie with her for a few days until she falls asleep, just to remind her that she’s okay and that I’m near. I will speak to her gently and remind her that the doctor said this was better for her and her teeth. And, she won’t care about any of that – all she’ll want are her pacifiers. Poor baby. But, I’m still going to do it because I know something she doesn’t. I know this is better for her.
As I laid my plans, I was struck with the reminder that God has these sort of plans laid for me. It’s happened in the past so I can only imagine this is part of my future as well. Right now, God could have plans to remove something I thought I needed or add something to my life that I didn’t know I needed. He is always doing something. And, as He does, He won’t do so with malice or glee or a detached attitude toward my pain or discomfort. He, too, will be close, offer comfort, speak gently to me, hold my hand, let me cry and assure me that He is still in control and, even more importantly to me in those moments, that He loves me and has good for me. Poor me. But, He’s still going to do it because He too knows something I don’t.
My daughter trusts me, even when she doesn’t understand. Oh, may I learn that kind of trust once again.