Lesson Learned From My Thumb Sucker


All of my kids suck on their fingers and have unique ways of doing so: Abbie switches thumbs; always has… still does. Quinn sucks the knuckle of his pointer finger on his right hand. Seamus sucks his middle and ring finger on his right hand; he usually ends up looking as if he is signing “I love you”.

I was not a thumb/finger sucker. My husband, on the other hand (no pun intended), was. For a looong time.

I am certain that there is an orthodontist out there who is going to become a close family friend.

Their need to suck is especially strong when they are tired and falling asleep.

Last night I went in to lay with Abbie for a bit. She had come into our room and wanted a glass of water. I couldn’t resist snuggling into the bed with her. Our time together is so brief now that she is at school… As I snuggled next to her I listened to her attempting to suck her thumb as she fell back to sleep.

It’s not as easy as it usually is. She has a cold; her nose is stopped up, so she can’t breathe and suck her thumb at the same time. I listened to her attempt this┬áseveral times. Even once she was asleep, some part of her brain couldn’t decide what was more important: breathing or sucking that thumb.

Since I couldn’t fall back to sleep, my mind started considering her quandary. I guess it was one of those moments where God wanted to speak to me, so my daughter became thirsty so that she’d wake me up…

Why do we put ourselves through so much unnecessary struggle? There is that internal struggle to do what we know we need to do versus the things that our flesh wants to do. That pull is so strong.

But, they aren’t always big and obvious. It can be “do I go for a walk or make myself a milkshake?”, “do I sit down and play with the kids or clean the kitchen?” Neither option is bad. But if we play that game long enough it keeps us from what we should be doing.

The desires of our flesh are so strong. Left to our own devices, they would surely win EVERY time.