I once heard Dame Ellen MacArthur talk about how she decided to circumnavigate the globe in a Catamaran—alone. Parenting a child with an illness is a bit like embarking such a journey—it’s sometimes terrifying, often lonely, and one struggles with the feeling that there is no land in sight and sharks everywhere—at times.
It forces us to dig deep down to summon the kind of courage we didn’t know we had.
Other times, one is simply amazed by the beauty and brilliance of the way the sun bounces off the water, or the way your child strings together a complex sentence, or the sweetness of your son saying, can I help you carry that heavy water jug Mama, or let me cook dinner because you’re sick—and in these moments your breathe is taken away by the wonderment and awesomeness of this creature you birthed.
Every day is a balance of these two things—sometimes your boat is right side up and sometimes your boat is keeling—and other times you’re a writer struggling to find the perfect metaphor and desperately trying to avoid the cliches and the cheesyness of the photo of the sunset bouncing off the water.
Just like learning to swim, or writing a novel, or sailing untrained in rough waters, the only way through is by keeping one’s eye on the horizon and one hand on the wheel, and sometimes reminding oneself that indeed there is land ahead, if you just keep bumping over each wave and try not to hurl the contents of one’s stomach at each unforgiving wave.