Holding space has never been this heavy.
This piece appeared under a different title on Elephant Journal earlier this month.
People told me parenting is the hardest thing they’ve ever done. People told me that no one knows what they are doing. When my wife was pregnant and during hard times of parenting, these are all things I heard from friends and acquaintances. They left something out. No one ever told me how often there is nothing to do. And, I don’t mean there’s nothing to do so instead I’ll go eat waffles and watch The Golden Girls like I want to. I mean there is nothing you can do at times when all you want to do is do something. I mean the times your kid is struggling, sad, or in pain and there is nothing you can do to make it better.
Little ones face so many huge struggles. When they are itty bitty, it’s being out of the womb, the rhythms of being awake and asleep, light. As wee ones it’s figuring out the world of feelings, expectations, and identity. As they get older it’s the emotional fabric of friends, intimacy, and isolation. The never-ending tumult of figuring out who you are and what you stand for. From the time they are wee on up until they leave the house, having a sick kiddo is always a time when you can do things that might help a little, but you can’t actually make it better. During all these times, there are small gestures, little things you can do that might alleviate some of the heaviness for the moment. But, really there isn’t anything you can do that will fix, take away, or fast forward through it.
In the last few days I have spent a lot of time sitting on the floor holding my crying kid.
Continue reading here on Elephant Journal.