He stood with his hands and legs spread apart.

His hands were placed firmly on the back of the door in an attempt to keep it closed.

A grave expression lined his face.

“Mommy, I am not going to let her come in and give me any pokers (shots)!” He said.

I laughed.

On Thursday, I bundled Max and Myles up and drove them to their annual medical appointments. Within minutes of arriving, we went into the examination room. The doctor checked their eyes. She checked their ears. She listened to their hearts. They were healthy. During the course of Max’s exam, he timidly asked the doctor if he was getting a poker. She feigned ignorance. He asked again-and once again she pretended not to understand what he meant by “poker.” She’d already informed me that Max would be receiving one shot and Myles would be receiving three. It was going to be a rough morning.

Once the doctor’s exam was complete and she left the room, Max turned to me and again asked if he would be receiving a poker. I reluctantly told him yes and that Myles would be receiving shots too. Generally, Max is very protective of his little brother. However, upon hearing that they would both be receiving shots, he quickly and benevolently offered to let Myles go first. Of course I knew that would be a mistake. I attempted to coax Max into volunteering to go first. I told him it would not hurt that much. I told him he needed to be an example for his little brother. I promised him a special treat once the shot was finished. He was not persuaded. So what did he do? Of course he barricaded the door with his body. He was determined that the nurse would not get in the room. It didn’t work.

As soon as the nurse entered the room, he again begged for his brother to go first. She and I both agreed that proceeding in this manner would not be a good idea. As she approached Max, tears began to fall from his eyes followed by loud body shaking wails. And then, before my eyes, he instantly transformed into a Kung-Fu fighter and used his best moves to resist her advances. He kicked. He swung his arms. He twisted his body. His moves were amazing! However, he was no match for the nurse or me. After several strong arm maneuvers she managed to give him a shot in his left thigh. Next up was Myles. Poor thing was clueless. As the needle pierced his skin; he looked at me with puppy dog eyes; his lip quivered; and he too began to loudly cry.

After the nurse left, I gave Max the special treat I promised him: Chocolate. He was happy again. However, once we reached the lobby of the building, he developed a pronounced limp in his left leg. Picture a five-year-old hunched over and hobbling like a ninety-five-year-old who is need of a cane. Once again I chuckled to myself at his dramatics. The limp mysteriously began to disappear as we walked further.

It broke my heart to see my boys cry, but I was happy to know they were healthy. Sometimes we all have to endure pain because ultimately we know we will be better either mentally or physically because of it.


This week in the midst of returning from Thanksgiving vacation, attending doctor’s visits, working and taking a sewing class I was able to make another canvas bag. I found the pattern on the SeeKateSew Pinterest page. What do you think of the bag? Can you recall any times when you have experienced pain but knew that you would be better because of it?  Can you recall patiently witnessing your children endure pain because you knew in the end they would be better because of it?


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