I Miss Band-Aids

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band-aidI miss the days when band-aids fixed all. When my kids were young, it seemed like a band-aid was the cure for everything that ailed. Pick a size, any size. We got them all!  

Plus, some band-aids have cute characters on them. Luckily those princesses, emojis, cartoon characters, superheroes, etc., act as a little distraction from the actual injury.  Those marketing geniuses are brilliant! They prey on us, knowing full well that we’re going to purchase a serious stash of these things to remedy the wounds of our offspring! 

Band-aids are offered for a scrape on the knee from a fall at the park, a gash on the elbow from a tumble, or a paper cut. A band-aid may also help ailments such as a little bruise from falling, as it could heal the tiny boo-boo that you hardly see but “hurts.” Or a stinging bug bite. Almost immediately, the pain – even sometimes emotional pain – starts to fade.

As parents, we learn little tricks of the trade, realizing that band-aids can result in instant calmness. Can’t sleep – band-aid; playdate canceled – band-aid; sibling ate your Halloween candy – band-aid; ice cream falls off the cone – band-aid.  There is some trial and error involved, but give it a whirl! 

I say this not to encourage trickery; however, at times, it is as simple as acknowledging the “hurt” and taking some time to show care and concern. And that’s what the band-aid signifies. The band-aid is worn as a badge of honor as proof that mom and dad, or another parental-type figure, love them. The band-aid can reassure that someone will always be there with attention, acknowledgment, and comfort. 

As time goes on, children eventually start to grab the band-aids on their own. It is a symbol of learning to self-soothe, self-care, and self-solution. Granted, the use of band-aids can become a bit nontraditional! For example, sticking a band-aid on a torn book or using one for covering up a tear on a ragged stuffed animal. This could be a fix. Alternatively, using one to cover up pen marks on a wall?  Not so much.  

My husband made a bulk purchase of band-aids when my son was very young. At the time, we joked that we had so many that he’d take some to college – which is next year, and that stash of band-aids are long gone! We seriously thought we’d be stocked up on these things forever!

Nevertheless, as children grow and mature, the band-aid doesn’t appear to heal much more than it was designed to do. It doesn’t wield the power it once did. The older the kids, the less effective the band-aid. They learn this all too soon, and some of the sweet innocence is gone.

The band-aid can fix a rip on an art project, but often not a ripple effect caused by a bad decision. 

The band-aid can be comforting for that killer cut when your shoe is rubbing, but often not if you take a step in the wrong direction.

The band-aid is helpful for a broken nail but less likely for a broken heart.

Ah, if only the band-aid still worked like magic. Imagine a band-aid to cure sadness resulting from a fight with a friend. A band-aid to heal a sports injury in one day. A band-aid for a pimple before picture day. Or a band-aid for a disappointing grade. I’d invest my life savings in those!  

But, of course, a band-aid cannot make these deeper – or more “grown-up” – wounds disappear. This is when they truly need us, and it is for more than a band-aid.  Unfortunately, sometimes, no matter how much we try, we are unable to heal the wound. 

Do I miss the days when a simple piece of fabric or plastic bandage and some gooey sticky glue made my kids feel better? Yes. You bet I miss band-aids!

The brand name “Band-aid” has become interchangeable with the word “bandage.” A bandage protects and supports – which is exactly what parents set out to do.    

The band-aid represents a time of easy fixes. Figuratively or realistically, that simplistic solution can help mend what is wrong. As the kids grow, simple solutions don’t always solve their issues. Even adults do not always have an answer or a solution to the most significant problems. More challenging to solve and harder to cure. That opportunity to alleviate their burdens easily is long gone, as it is their time to do it for themselves.

Removing the band-aid though? Sometimes that hurts just as much, if not more, than the reason we used the band-aid in the first place. 

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