Saturday, May 7, 2011

What's behind door number 3?

Do you ever feel like you're trapped in a old 1980's gameshow? You're compelled to smile, because the audience doesn't want to see a sourpuss, but inside your heart beats like crashing cymbals, nearly drowning out the clues you need for the next round. Sweat beads on your brow, dripping salt mercilessly into your eyes. You struggle to focus through the haze of stress and weariness. Your head pounds, the effort to extract the correct answer - when you know the correct answer could just as easily go wrong - puts your brain on overload.

Which will it be?
Door 1, 2 or 3?

And in this gameshow, the prize isn't a car, or twenty-five thousand dollars, or a cruise to the Bahamas. In this gameshow, the prize gets you a few hours of precious sleep this night, and a chance to play all over again tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after, and the day after, and the day after, and the day after...well, you get the idea.

The solution, you soon find, is to tuck those feelings away, you take your fears, your stresses, your inadequacies - and you fold them neatly into your sweat moistened kerchief and stow them in the pocket of your cheerfully colored dress. They don't always stay tucked away well either; and the camera's catch the bulge as they strain the fabric. But you smile, and firmly pat your pocket as you think "Not now". You focus your inner voice until it smooths again, the bulge laying flat once more, but its never truly smooth, and your can feel the coarse edges through the thin layers of fabric. This inner voice is the same soothing voice that sang babies to sleep, read picture books to toddlers, and soothed childhood bumps and bruises.

It's the same voice that explained to your baby why you have to poke them so often, why they carry medical equipment and a bag of tricks everywhere they go. It's the same voice that patiently explains a new way of life, with no end in sight - and tries to make it all okay with smiles, and hugs, and an occasional bowl of ice cream - all the while keeping the worry tucked firmly away so that it doesn't affect anyone but you, so that your child can continue to be a kid. So your child can continue to









Be healthy

Live well

This is what we want for our kids. So we play the game, knowing we will lose as often as we win. We will challenge ourselves to think clearly under stress and learn the rules until we know the game better than anyone. We will make sure a childhood is all it should be. And we will prevail.

Game on!

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