Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Scary Side of Being a Parent

Last week I heard that an eighth grader in my town, someone's little boy, took his life.  As a mom, the mere thought of this tares me into pieces.  It makes my heart ache for that child, for that child's parents, that child's family.  It scares me to pieces that something can make a child feel things are helpless, hopeless. 

Then today I read this.  And Oh. My. Gosh.  Being a parent is so frightening.  I looked at my little monsters tonight, whose lives' are entrusted to me, and realized that right now this is the easy stuff.  I've stumbled through the last 2+ years in various states of exhaustion covered in spit up and snot and who knows what other bodily fluids.  I've rocked and burped and nursed and fed and bathed and clothed and rocked and cuddled and rocked these babies into the wee hours of the night (morning).   I've worried about fevers and coughs and sniffles and bumps and ultrasounds and blood tests.  And they have returned this outpouring of love with giggles and babbles and snuggles and coos and I love yous.  All of this has been the easy stuff. 

What lies ahead, that's the hard stuff.  How do I teach them that hope exists even in the darkest moments?  How do I instill in them self confidence and resiliency?  How do I teach them kindness towards others, empathy and compassion?  How do I make sure they know that no matter what - NO MATTER WHAT - their mom and dad are there for them, love them and can help them through anything they face? 

There's no guide book for this and despite my best efforts I tremble thinking that I might get it wrong.  Or worse, that I'll get it right but it won't matter. 

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