Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What a Parent Learns

Today was a rough day. Abby had a follow-up appointment for her finger. I couldn't go with her, so Jason took her. During the morning I got a call and expected to hear Jason on the other end. Instead it was Abby tearfully telling me how afraid she was to see the doctor.

It broke my heart.

One of the best ways I know of to express my feelings is through poetry. This about sums it up.

What a Parent Learns

A parent learns
quickly
to read the cries of their newborn.
I'm hungry, sounds
different
than, I'm tired.
I'm hurt
is distinct from
I'm afraid.


A parent learns
early
that they are needed - their
presence
calms the infant.
They are able to provide
nourishment,
comfort,
sanctuary.

A parent learns
in time
that words replace
cries,
and some things
become easier to fix -
hurts
can be pointed out,
cravings
can be satisfied.

A parent learns
then
that fears become
bigger,
scarier,
and that their presence
won't always
soothe,
their voice
won't always
calm,
their arms
can't make the fear
go away.

A parent learns,
at that point, to
wait,
to know,
that their
little one
will be okay in the
end,
but that they can't
fight the fear
for their child,
they are
helpless
for a time.

A parent learns,
finally,
that their child
sheds
the fear
easier
than they do.
For the parent,
the panic,
the terror,
the anxiety,
remains -
fresh -
coupled with the
knowledge
that they were
powerless
to take it away.

A parent learns
then,
that
fear
creeps in on them.
They learn to
dread
the next doctor's appointment,
the next dark room,
the next bad dream.
So, the parent
relishes the
in-between
time, and
fills
those moments
with
"I'm proud of you"'s
and
"I love you"'s,
and finds solace
in the
presence of their
amazing
child.

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