Children

‘How did I not see the signs? We made it to the children’s psych ward. I wanted to kiss the boo boos away, but I couldn’t.’: In the wake of 12-year-old daughter’s ‘suicide plan,’ mom says we can’t be ‘the perfect parent’ no matter how hard we try

“The doctor comes in. ‘Can I speak with you in private?’ I feel on the verge of a panic attack, but I simply smile and follow her to the nurse’s station. ‘So, what do you feel is going on?’ I quickly and calmly explain the events of the phone call from school, and the events of the prior weeks as she listens and takes notes. She says, ‘I have talked to her and we have no choice but to admit your daughter. She has a clear plan to commit suicide, and we need to watch her closely.’ My stomach is in knots.”

‘Every evening, I see the same tired woman waiting to cross the street with her 4 kids. She holds onto the ones she can, and they hold onto the ones she can’t. I’m fascinated by this woman and her tribe.’

“Even though I need to get myself home to my own four babes, often I’ll wait, not pulling out of the parking lot until they’ve safely made it across. If I didn’t, I would lay in bed at night and worry: Had they made it? Were they still waiting? Were they safe?”

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