Life's meanderings, wonderings, inspiration...sending it out to the great "marketplace of ideas."
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Monday, March 21, 2016
Clouds, Watchers, and a Child’s Perspective
Rise up and find your own sunrise moment
I still believe courage is perspective…it’s where you are in
life, what you’ve experienced and how long you have lived.And I imagine the mind of an 11-year-old
struggling to find his place would sound a little bit like this:
Today I woke up to a
rainy day.It was just like the day
before and the day before that.Though I
could see no puddles on the ground, I know it was raining just the same.The clouds were dark and angry…grey and
foreboding.And I can’t remember the
last time I saw the sun.
And it isn’t even an
interesting calm leading up to a perfect storm.It’s just raining and dark…with no end in sight.
My family and friends
tell me the sky is blue…that the sun is shining…and that I should feel the
warmth on my skin.I should be riding my
bike and embracing life…hanging out with friends.
But all I see are
clouds.Impossible to get past, hanging
in the air everywhere.I fall and give
in to a downward spiral.Even as I cling
to the hope and love of my family, it’s not enough.It is never enough for me to escape from this
constantly dismal landscape.It changed
and moved so swiftly, I had no choice but to keep following along, and try to
be okay.And so today, I finally fell
down and gave in to the dark clouds, increasingly aware of being separated from
what I had come to believe was my normal life.Now I am exposed, freed from the mask I’ve worn for months, trying to
hold on and make everyone happy…knowing deep down it would be an epic fail from
And now I can begin
again…but I need your help.Stepping out
of line mid-point, I’ve lost my way.I
worry about what my friends and other people will think.I’m not sorry I found the courage to ask for
help…will you have the courage to meet my gaze, help me move forward, and get
back on track?Because what I have is
not really something you can see.It’s
not even something you can experience and feel as I feel.Because we all have clouds blocking our
view…and we all see the same thing completely differently.
For me, help meant
having a watcher…someone who wasn’t too close to me or cared too much…a
stranger…a watcher to let me “be” and sleep and dream…to wake and get back
But watching wasn’t
enough…because they can’t see me on the inside, and I didn’t know how to
explain how I was feeling to the outside world.I only knew it was more than I could take and I couldn’t breathe.I’m not sure how I feel about having
“problems.”I’m not sure how you will
feel about me as a person and kid if you find out.
After my watchers were
finished checking on me, I learned that having the courage to get help can
sometimes leave you completely powerless, and at the mercy of adults and
medical professionals…and that even if I say the clouds are gone, no one will
listen and believe me…and now I need to make a list.I need to write down how I can keep from
needing courage to ask for help again…I need a safety plan to feel safe at home
again.I have to talk to people and
convince them I have an umbrella within reach if the storm clouds return.
I still have a ways to
go…I know I am a constant worry to everyone who loves me.But I’m trying my best.
This is the conversation I wish that every parent could have
with their child before that child reaches the ledge of despair and gives way to
full-blown crisis mode.These are my
thoughts and impressions the past several months of clouds around my son have
left me with.You come to realize what
is important, and suddenly, the commitments you think are unbreakable, the
meetings that are critical…well, they are the ones with counselors, social
workers, anyone that is carrying an umbrella that might shield your child from
The others, the ones that pay the bills and keep a roof over
your head…come into a new perspective when you consider even a single moment
you might have to live without your child living in it.
Today the sun is shining…at least as far as I can tell.A little overcast maybe, but the sun is
peaking through and casting shadows on the ground.
For every child that has awakened to a day immersed in
clouds…may there always be countless watchers and caring human beings to offer
umbrellas along the way.My hope is that
we can all consider each other’s perspective a little more.And specifically, make eye contact, and meet
the courage of countless children with acceptance and understanding.
I am most grateful for the morning sunrise, reminding me
that what truly matters is still intact, there is still hope for a better
tomorrow, and my child will continue to grow and move beyond this passage of
time when all he could see were clouds because of the kindness of others…not
in spite of the indifference of others.I still believe courage is perspective and that kids really do know it
all…and we must help them when they lose their way and their current
perspective is not enough.This is my
sunrise moment.What will yours be?