“Why do you take photos amongst the chaos?”
That’s a question I, and many other parents of sick children have received.
Why don’t we just focus on our child in that situation?
Why do we need to take photos of our sick child?
“Just put your phone down and be present.”
“Not everything needs to be a photo op”
You name it, it’s been said by someone, to someone.
It probably won’t make sense to you. The average human, parent, with heathy children.
You have to understand that photos can be a way of coping. Processing.
For myself I snap photos so I can later have them as guidance to process what the heck just happened because in the moment you go into survival mode. Then sometime after you’re supposed to somehow make sense of it all?
There is also a surprising amount of “downtime” in the hospital setting. So you may find us browsing social media, sending messages, surviving.
They help us advocate. To say “this changed, see!”
They help us celebrate. Weird, I know. But it helps us capture the changes, the improvements. The “look how far he’s come”.
It gives us memories.
When you have a medically fragile child you are much more aware of the fact that death is real. Children die. Babies die. That your child may die.
So when chaos hits, we snap those quick photos so we can hold onto as many memories as possible, even the hard ones. Because they’re memories with that child and every little thing counts. Every memory matters.
And then goodness, some parents decide to share their journey and post. To have an outlet. To have community. To let people into their world so maybe, just maybe they can get a tiny glimpse of what’s happening so they know a bit more how to support. Because we need it, the support.
We need the support.
The processing opportunity.
The coping mechanisms.
So please don’t judge the parents who snap photos amongst the chaos.
We have learned something you haven’t:
Life is precious.
But it can also be cut short.
And every moment matters, even the hard ones.
We want to hold onto it.
All of it.
The good, bad, ugly, wickedly awesome.
I know you may be trying to make sense of it all, but so are we.
People cope differently, and that’s okay.
Just be gentle, please.
I hope you never have to understand how this helps, and if you do, we love you ❤️