I don't have a creative or clever way to tell you about what the last few weeks have been like. I respect my kids' privacy, so there are just some things I don't want to share. Truly, that's one of my biggest fears as a writer: putting my kids in a position where they question whether or not they can trust me. How do I tell my truth as a parent in an untamed, unvarnished way, when that truth is so deeply intertwined with children who need me to be their safe place? The reality is, sometimes I just can't. And that's okay, because being there for my people is the most important thing about my life.
What I can share is this:
It's hard. It's so, so hard. Sometimes, they struggle in ways I can't even fathom, and I really don't have an immediate understanding of what I can or should do to be supportive. It's vulnerable, and scary.
I can't fix it. I can't just hug it away, when they hurt on the inside.
I can make decisions to get help, and that feels like a huge relief when I don't know what else to do. I'd rather listen to people who can teach me than to fuck this up.
I can say, "I'm here for you, and I see you," and sit beside them while they hurt. Which feels like something, yes. But not enough.
So, we wait.
We sit still, we get up and move around, we change the subject. We ask questions, we read, we learn. We do what the experts tell us. We believe we can learn, and we tell ourselves it's going to get better.
But today, right now: we wait. We bear witness to our babies when they're in pain, and we offer up silent prayers to whoever answers first that we make it to the next right thing. We know it won't feel better all at once, and healing doesn't happen just because you want it to. We just have to wait, and keep waiting, and make each decision as it comes, one day at a time.
It's not what any of us thought it would be like. But that's okay, too. It's hard, but it's real.
I'll take real, along with the hard, if it means we get to do it in truth.
Sometimes, just knowing it's true is enough.