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I've seen you


I've seen you pray. I've seen your tears in the cafe.

I've seen your exhaustion holding hospital bags for your next overnight stay.I have seen you fight and advocate for your child when they can't fight for themselves.

I have seen you stay positive when you are in an appointment when you are hearing what the next treatment step is. And I have seen you race to the bathroom to cry, so they can't see those tears.

I have seen you live in a world that most would like to pretend, doesn't exist.

But then, I’ve also seen you learn from your child.

I’ve seen you no longer fear the hospital, and it's become a second home.I’ve seen you play the board games, read the books, laugh at the clown doctors.I’ve seen you and your new “normal” life. And I have seen you smile when you found it.

As parents and carers, we go through life with the responsibility on our shoulders that we must be the teachers, the guidance, the light for our children. We must shelter them from the bad, introduce them to the good – and hold their hands on the bumpy ride.

But life will happen. And hard things will happen. And we will face moments where we would rather hide, then face what is on the other side.

Just because you are the parent, doesn’t mean you always have to be the resilient one. Doesn’t mean you can’t learn from your child, from their strength, from these experiences.

I didn’t know what I would learn from my child until I saw him faced with a chronic illness. He taught me gratitude. He taught me resilience. He taught me courage.

When we went to one of countless specialists’ appointment to hear of our next treatment plans, he didn’t get angry at the world like I was. He calmy said to the Doctor “Thank you – you are doing an amazing job”.

When we had out fortnightly hospital treatment, he didn’t get angry at the delayed processes of the system like I was. He was grateful for more time to play board games and beat me at Canasta.

And when he faced one of many scans, he didn’t complain, he treated them like being in  some vessel in a Star Wars movie.

I have learnt – although I want to, I can’t fix it all. Sometimes I can’t fix anything. But I can learn from my child.

So, I urge you – take a step back. Let yourself not be the one to save every moment. Let yourself learn. And learn from your child. As you will find a new strength, a new sense of resilience, a new sense of gratitude that you never knew existed.

Life will happen. Hard things will happen. It might be an illness, it might be a learning diagnosis, it might be a school refusal. Hard things will happen. 

You can use this time to learn. From your child. And heal and grow together.

Parent’s, carers, families - I've seen you.

You are strong. You are resilient. You are courageous. And you are doing a good job.