When my children were little I did my best to keep them safe and to be there when they needed me.
I put aloe on their sunburns, and made oatmeal baths when they had chicken pox.
I gave them cool baths when their fevers were too high, and ran the steamer all through the night when they had croup.
I walked them to school, kept in contact with their friends' parents, and made sure they didn't swing too high or climb too far.
Yes, they had their share of bumps and bruises, and trips to emergency. I was there - holding the bowl while they vomited, or listening to their delirium while under the effects of morphine.
They are both adults now.
They are both nursing broken hearts.
Not for the first time, and likely not for the last.
I don't know of a way to cool that anger, or steam away that sadness, or sooth that wounded heart. Nor should I if I did.
I remember reading a book called The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, by Wendy Mogel.
The author talked about how, by removing all the obstacles in our children's lives we do them a disservice.
For who among us have not had a broken heart, a lost job, money troubles, career crises or consequences from life decisions.
No-one I think.
And as we get older we bear the scars of old wounds that in fact can make us stronger, and wiser, and although we may look more world weary, we become more resilient, perhaps a little more cautious, and more accepting of ourselves and others.
At least that is what I like to believe.
I don't want to believe that the things life can throw at us will make us hard, and inflexible, and bitter.
That would be wrong - to not learn and grow and realize that we can handle it.
Whatever IT is.
This doesn't mean I do nothing. I can make tea and listen, and help, if help is asked for and within my ability to give.
I can pray.
I can believe that it will all be alright in the end.
If it isn't alright.
It isn't the end.
I have to believe that.
I have to.