Gentle, gentle

So the other day when Seth had a bad reaction to his IVIG infusion, Todd slipped out during the ordeal and took Riley to the orthodontist before they closed for the weekend. It was imperative they correct a couple of stray wires that had come loose and were poking Riley in the cheek like needles.

She’d had the braces less than 24 hours and her mouth was sore, not just from the poking wires, but from the whole thing.

She sat bravely in the chair as the professional fiddled with her braces, and according to HT, at one point Riley suddenly stopped her and said sweetly but with conviction,

“Excuse me, could you be a little more gentle with me please?”

How many adults would be courageous enough and/or feel justified to stand up for themselves in this way? She didn’t fly off the handle. She didn’t heap any judgement on it. She didn’t melt down. She just asked for what she needed and got it.

What would it be like if we routinely asked others to be more gentle with us? What if, the next time we were about to make a self-deprecating remark we stopped and asked our inner critic, “Excuse me, could you be a little more gentle with me please?”

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15 Responses to Gentle, gentle

  1. chloe and indy says:

    Awesome! that is so wonderful!

  2. Wanda says:

    Tell Riley “thanks” for me. A good model.

  3. This made me smile. I will remember for a long time.

  4. Annicles says:

    I am taking this into school today!

  5. Heather says:


  6. *m* says:

    She is a ROCK STAR. What a girl!

  7. Chris V. says:

    Thank you Michelle… lovely…

  8. Kathi says:

    What a girl! Amazing. I don’t think I have ever said that.

  9. Meg says:

    She teaches us all, doesn’t she?

  10. I love this, Michelle. Thanks so much for sharing.

  11. I can’t get over how much she teaches the world through your posts! Thanks a million times over for sharing your stories!!

  12. Dee Ready says:

    Dear Michelle,
    This posting was lovely in its tenderness for Riley and its tribute to her sweetness and her fortitude. I don’t think I’ve ever told my inner voice to be more gentle with me. Thank you for suggesting that. It’s something I need to do. We probably all need to do this. As to Riley–the words that come to mind are “And a little lamb shall lead them.”


  13. Carrie Link says:

    She is a teacher, and one of my personal faves.

  14. kario says:

    I love that she was able to do this in the face of the crisis she had just witnessed with Seth. This girl stays true to her course, doesn’t she? Love it!

  15. Leah says:

    What a great post and reminder that we all should be more like Riley. I can’t tell you how many situations I’ve been in medically and otherwise (including in labor with Sophie) where I should have spoked up on my behalf and said just that! We should all learn from her wisdom!

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