care workers

A letter to my friend

Dear Darrell,

You have a son! Less than twenty- four hours old. What a wondrous and amazing journey you are about to embark upon. As I think of you today I am remembering my first baby, and feel as though we share a secret that only parents share. I know exactly what you are feeling. Love! You have fallen madly in love with this new little person and, even though he has been here such a short time, you canít imagine your life without him or remember your life before him. When you are away from him all you can think about is holding him again, and gazing into his beautiful face. Placing your finger inside his little hand, gently tracing the outline of his perfect tiny ear. You know beyond a doubt, for the first time in your life, that you would be able to kill to protect him. You finally understand, as everyone has been telling you, that your life will never be the same. But not for financial or lifestyle reasons: you know now that you will never again open your eyes in the morning or close them at night without thinking of your child. I know that you will be an amazing father. I have seen the way you give so generously of yourself to the youth that we work with. I know that you will become an even better youth care worker now that you have become a parent. You will understand the families that we work with in a new way. I know that today you cannot imagine ever being angry with your perfect son, but you will. You will feel anger, frustration, disappointment, and even resentment. You will feel helpless, hopeless, and incompetent. I am certain that you will be able to handle all of this, but you will understand in a way that you could not before today, that it is so hard to be a parent. You will be less inclined to judge those who are struggling to parent successfully. You will see the sadness and fear behind their anger and indifference. You will know that, were circumstances a little different, it could be you. So today as I think of you and your new son, I am also thinking of those parents who gazed into the perfect face of their tiny baby with love and hope but found the journey too difficult to manage on their own. Let us listen without scepticism, and offer support without judgement until they are able to remember all the joy, hope, and love that they felt on the day their child was born.