It’s dark in the bedroom. I sit on the bed, my back leaning against the wall, my back muscles sore, typing as silently as possible, listening to my son’s breathing, hoping he will fall asleep soon. I am playing a story for him and praying. It has been a long time since my last prayer of such intensity. Please, give me the wisdom to know what to do, what to say!

Is there any harder thing in the life of a parent than the moments of deep pain in their child’s heart that they cannot appease? Is there a moment when parents feel less able than the moment when they sit next to their hurting child, who can’t even utter their pain and when there is nothing to be done?

It is a tough moment in my son’s life and promising to get tougher and all I can do is cry with him, sit with him and his pain that seems almost palpable, answer questions I don’t know the actual answer to, provide food and drink, try a laugh so maybe he would follow, stay silent when there is nothing to say and hold space for no solution.

Earlier today my mind went back to a day in the park when he got up on a slide which I felt was too tall for his age and ability. And I remember making myself just be present, not intervening, not taking the struggle away. Because tough skin is made of scar tissue. Tonight, as I am finally hearing his breath become regular and deep, all I can pray for is that this scar will give birth to tough skin and not to a shell. I pray he feels he is not alone and that the same life that feels brutal today can be beautiful again.

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