Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Bond Between Parents and Children, By Jane Danner-Sustar, LifeWays Caregiver

On Friday, June 17th I was interrupted while changing a diaper, when my sister called to tell me our mother had passed. Although it was not entirely unexpected, I still burst into tears and went into a slight state of shock. I got Otto cleaned up and dressed and I wondered around the suite trying to contain my emotion and attend to the children who were coming in as well as those who had already arrived. Both children and adults were incredibly sweet in their caring and concern.
When Sidonie arrived she told me that my mother would always be with me in my heart! I could not have hid my tears if I had wanted to, after that. Thank goodness for the wonderful women I work with and the amazing understanding of the parents in my suite. Miss Jaimmie came in and just said,” Go home, Jane”. And I went home to my mother. I worried as I left what the affect would be on the children who had seen me emote so strongly and I worried about the children who would come and not know why I was not there but I knew deeply and strongly that each one of those children was well cared for by the women whose care I left them in.
I know this sounds entirely too dramatic but now that I have lost both my parents and watched my children deal with the loss of their father, I am speaking from a place of some experience: When you leave your children with us at Lifeways, they feel it on a physical level. Because you are the greatest parents on the planet, the best I can ever hope to be is second best. That is not to say that Ava is not chasing Olivia around the tables two minutes after you walk out the door. Or that Beka isn’t catching fairies for us to sit on our shoulders by the time you get into your car. Or that Amitai isn’t engrossed in the building of his train tracks by the time you reach Humboldt. They laugh and they play and Orion puts his bowl on his head to show off for all of us at lunch time. Second best is as close to excellent as can possible be. However, when Otto or Natalie really falls hard the first person they want is momma or daddy. Sometimes when Gaston or Isabel wake up from their naps all tousle haired with a certain, “where am I?” look in their eyes, I know they are looking for their parents.
The bond between a child and their parents is a wonderful and mysterious thing so when you leave your children with someone else they will react with crying or indifference or anger or a myriad of other emotions. To me, that doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong. To me that means something is very right. To me that signals that the bond between you is alive and well. How can it not be? Like I said before, you are the most wonderful parents on the planet! I should know, I had a great pair myself. I miss them every day and I carry them in my heart with me where ever I go.

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