In the world of parenting, there are those who suffer along the normal problems of raising children, the worries about school and friends, allergies and driving tests, failures and successes. And then there are those who are confronted with gut-wrenching situations where they have to make awful choices, usually to do something that will be very difficult for their child to prevent something very bad from happening.

I just want to say I get that. I’ve done that.

Those of us in the gut-wrenching group tend to keep to ourselves. We’re not big on telling other folks about our sickening forays into the world of Hobson’s choices. For one thing, most people won’t understand. Normal parents have no context for understanding gut-wrenching choices. Nothing in their orderly world prepares them for actions that are ‘drastic’ or ‘life-changing’ or ‘risky.’ Most parents are safe from extraordinary gambles.

So this is a message for those parents who are sitting at the kitchen table holding their head in their hands wondering if they’ve done the right thing. I’m speaking to the parents who wonder what happened to their simple life and clear choices. I’m reaching out to those whose hearts are breaking because of choices they had to make. I can’t say everything will be fine because I don’t know. But I can say you are brave. You are strong. You are a warrior for your child.

Few people understand that. But I do.

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Photo: Gaelle Marcel