What if love isn’t enough?

23 04 2013

In the >6 yrs that I’ve been a mom to monkey and the >1.5 yrs I’ve been a mom to two animals, I’ve made lots of mistakes. I’ve raised my voice when I shouldn’t have, ignored the signs of on coming flus, put my science ahead of my kids. I am not the mom that has amazing birthday parties for my kids, has an awesomely decorated home for halloween or who would rather be a stay at home mom than a working mom. I’ve always thought that was OK.

Its wasnt’ the amount of time I spend with my kids or how little I raised my voice that mattered it was that I when I was with them, I was engaged.

What mattered was that my kids know how much I love them. I tell them everyday, multiple times a day. I chase them around to give them hugs and kisses.

But I also have to leave them to their own devices for a weekend so that I can mark 71 papers in 2 days, only vaguely pay attention to them because I have to buy a car and need to figure out how to get a decent one as cheaply as possible. I have convinced myself this is OK because love conquers all.

What if it doesn’t? A young child, a child, from monkeys gymnastics class passed away few weeks ago. From the cryptic messages we’ve received from the gymnastics studio its clear the death was unexpected and not accidental.  This broke my heart. I knew this child. I have spoken to hir mom. I have witnessed this mom speak to her child and about her child. It was clear that she loved her child fiercely. She was her childs strongest ally / advocate.

Yet it wasn’t enough. S/he still chose to end her own life. A child, not yet a teenager chose to end hir life.

It broke my heart. If this mother, who I admired for the way she could communicate with and support her child, could not protect her child from whatever demons had hir choose death over life, what hope do I have?

Monkey is a sensitive boy. He feels it intensely when I correct him or when I am absent because of work. Mr.SM may have a heart of gold and may have the best of intentions when he wakes up every morning; He is not the A parent. As wandering scientist noticed for herself, I too am my children refuge. What if I am not enough? Mental illness is a scary beast of a disease and can affect children. I do not know how protect my kids from an illness I can not see.





2 responses

1 05 2013

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I am so sorry, Scientistmother. This is really so heartbreaking–a child, you say? Not even a teen?

I don’t have any reassuring words. Mental illness is so scary. You read these newspaper stories about terrible incidents. . . and the stories often make clear that the parents were loving people who did all they could. We all try our best, and I know that you certainly do.

22 11 2013


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