It was 5 pm on a Sunday when my phone buzzed. I did not recognize the number or the voice. “I’m sitting here beside your son at the bike park. Your husband has had an accident. Paramedics are on their way. He’s not okay.”
I looked around the living room. My infant was asleep, while my toddler and preschooler were playing around me. My 6-yr-old was with his semi-conscious father at a bike park an hour from home. We’d lived in Denver exactly eight weeks.
In that moment, life changed irrevocably for my family.
My husband survived the accident but had life-altering injuries. In the months that followed, I realized our lives were not going to go according to our plan.
Before becoming parents, we dreamed of the kind of childhood we would give our kids. We were certain we would never repeat our parents’ mistakes. We would never lose our temper or forget important days. They would never experience any of the hardships we did. No matter what, we would insulate them from suffering.
Unfortunately, life just doesn’t work that way.
Accidents, illnesses, sudden job loss, divorce, financial strain, addictions.
At some point, all of us have to face the fact that our kids don’t get to live the fairy tale childhood we dreamed for them. Instead, many of them must deal with circumstances that are difficult for even adults to navigate.
Not only that, but we now have to learn to parent them through their hard seasons while also walking through the toughest times in our own lives.
When the life we planned for our children falls apart, when things go wrong in horrible unexpected ways, how do we move forward as parents? How do we help our children move out of a crisis and toward a healthy life?