The loneliness of childhood

January 16, 2013

Childhood can be a lonely place.

Despite my parents' best efforts, I remember it feeling like sometimes I was the only person in the world.I've never suffered from depression, but I certainly recall feeling anxious and scared. Whether it was from trying to make sense of things I saw happen at school, looks that were passed or phrases that were uttered, the world seemed much bigger and more complicated than I ever thought I could handle.

So now, when I see one of our kids sitting by themselves, uninvolved in an activity, I sit down beside them and wrap my arms around them. I try not to speak; I just hold them. That's usually when they start talking to me, asking questions and letting me know about their day. Those anxieties I used to have? They sometimes speak of them also.

I think one of the hardest parts about being a parent is resisting the urge to talk and to just remain quiet. To not say a word and to simply be there, in the moment, for your kids. To let them know that they're not alone.