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The Question I Can't Help but Wonder When My Child Is in the Hospital

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As we get closer to this day… the day my son is to be discharged from the hospital… this is a thought that keeps running through my mind: what if I’m not enough?

What if I am not enough to help the boy I love so much… my first baby?

What if all the love I have to give doesn’t make him happy, or healthy, or safe?

What if everything I’ve done up until now has been wrong?

What if I will never be able to make the world better or safer for him?

These thoughts are self-defeating. And these thoughts are real. I cannot pretend that I don’t have them.

, for some reason. It seems a shame that we do not always seek to support one another during these times of doubt, but perhaps we have to admit we have these feelings to receive that type of support. So, here I am admitting these thoughts – these doubts so prominent in my mind.

And please know, I am so grateful for all the support we have received. I would not have made it through this without it.

I will allow myself these thoughts because even if I try to ignore them, they creep into my mind and make me ill with worry. What if I am not enough?

And then, after I have sat with this thought that makes me sick, I will let the logical part of my brain take over. I will remind myself I can only do my best. I can only fight my hardest. And, I can know I do both.

For both of my children, I will fight, not to make life easy for them but to give them the tools they need to be successful and to teach them how to use those tools.

For both of my children, I will share with them the lessons I’ve learned, even though I know the lessons heard mean so much less than the lessons lived. And I will support them as they learn their lessons the hard way.

For both of my children, I will be an example of kindness and compassion. I will show them what it means to seek to understand rather than to judge. I will do this so perhaps they will, in turn, do the same.

What if I am not enough?

Reality is, I cannot possibly be. No one person will ever be enough. I have to let go of the ideal. I will remember I have so carefully and purposely constructed this network of people – this network that is my family’s village. So, instead of wallowing in my self-defeating thoughts, I will add to my village.

And I will hope and pray: that the kindness of others, that the support of those who love them, that access to resources, and that love surrounding them, will be enough to help them through this really hard thing called life.

Follow this journey here.

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Thinkstock photo by Keith Brofsky

Originally published: January 13, 2017
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