A parent is great for healing scrapes, for treating sniffles, for mending heartbreak.
For a scrape, a parent cleans the wound, dresses it. For comfort, a kiss always does the trick.
For sniffles, a parent gives a tissue, makes tea or hot soup, offers a blanket. For comfort, a snuggle always does the trick.
For heartbreak, a parent lends an ear, nods in support, offers advice when asked for it. For comfort, a tight hug always does the trick.
When a child has a serious problem, such as a concussion, a parent finds himself or herself out of his element. The parent can take the child to a clinic, or hospital, or even to the family doctor. For comfort, for both the child and the parent, all three of these places can be visited.
When the child is assessed, and a course of action is prescribed, the parent can do all he or she can to comply with that action. But the parent is helpless in providing a remedy. The parent can feel helpless, listening to the child cry over headaches, of pain, knowing that the only remedy is time. And that time can be unknown.
For a concussion, all sorts of fears are realized: will the child recover fully, or will there be lasting effects? Sensitivities to sound and light? Behavioural problems?
And the fear that will haunt the parent down the road: what if the child receives another blow to the head and suffers another concussion, one that causes more serious problems?
Being a parent is never easy. But a parent does what he or she can. The parent can be there for the child, can help the child in whatever way he or she can.
A parent would endure a thousand times the hurt that the child is feeling if it meant the hurt would go away for the child.
And, when a parent feels helpless, there are always a few courses he or she can take: a kiss, a snuggle, and a tight squeeze never hurt.