ちちんぷいぷいな時間を

子供がどこかが痛いと訴える時、『何か不安なことがあるのかな?』と、まずは心に目を向ける。『どれどれ~』と言いながら膝にのせ、痛いところに手を当てながらそっと顔を覗き込む。お母さんの気持ちが自分に向いていることを確認し安心するのか、しばらくすると『もういい』と言って膝から降りていくというパターンがほとんどです。

今回、地球がもう終わるんじゃないかと思うような長くて大きな地震を経験した子供たち。大人でさえ恐怖心が今でも残っているのだから、子供たちに与えた影響はどれほどのものだったのか・・・。うちの娘は一人でトイレに行くことができなくなりました。

『今までとは違うんだから』この言葉に含まれる意味を思うと切なくなるのです。

子供の心のケアが大切とカウンセラーの必要性を訴える声を聞きますが、まずは一番身近な存在であるお母さんが、しっかりと寄り添い安心させてあげることが大事なのではないかと思います。

家事や仕事、雑用に追われ、なかなかじっくりと向き合うことができていないと反省の日々ではありますが、4年生になっても添い寝を求める娘は、寝入る瞬間に私の手を掴んで、自分の顔に当てたり胸に当てたり、甘えて甘えて、とにかく母の手を欲しがります。

そんな時間もあとわずかのこと。上の子たちの親離れを思えば寂しくもありますが、末っ子のこの子は朝起こしに行くと両手を広げ抱っこの要求。私と大して変わらない、大きくなった体を抱き上げリビングまで連れて行く。これが毎日の朝の日課となっています。

眠い時はお腹をポンポンと。痛い時はあったかくなるまでじっくりと。
お母さんの手は魔法の手。大丈夫だよと、しっかりと伝えるためにも、
今は魔法の手がフル稼働の時なのです。

Abracadabra
When my daughter complains about her pain, I wonder if she may fear something inside her mind.
"Let's see." I hold her on my lap and look into her face gently with my hand on her body which part she has pain. When she is sure that I pay attention straightly to her, she seems to be relieved. Then she leaves me, saying "now I'm OK."
On March 11th, many children experienced a long and huge earthquake which made us think that the earth would end. Even we, adults still remain fear in our mind, how much of what was for children. After the earthquake my daughter could no longer go to the bathroom alone anymore.
I feel wistful when I heard people saying "Everything has been changed after March 11th."
Some people say that children need special mental care and also a counselor; however, I think what the children need the most is their mother who cuddle up them and make their mind ease.
I wish I could have had much more time with her but I can't afford because of everyday's house work, jobs and home chore. Still she needs me when she goes to bed, although she became 4th grade in school. She can't help nestling up to me, grabbing my hand, putting my hand on her face and chest at the moment she falls asleep. At any rate she needs my hands.
I know it doesn't take long till she grows up. I assume I will feel lonely when she is independent from me. My daughter is the youngest of my children and every morning she requests me to hug her stretching her arms widely. Then I take her big body, which is almost as same as me, to the living room. This is my routine in the morning.

When she is sleepy, my hands pat her tummy. When she has pain, my hands keep her body warm. My hands are magic hands. My magic hands never stop working until she feels "Everything is all right!"

(Translated by Aki Warasawa)