Being together

I have learned a lot in my 20+ years working with pediatric cancer patients and their families. After I had been on the job about six months, I had a revelation of sorts. It occurred to me that most people are simply unaware that kids can get cancer. I was a young parent myself, worried about developmental milestones and saving for college–but not about cancer!

Robin’s nest

But knowing what I knew changed my perspective on my kids. I was still anxious about the future, but I also truly cherished the present. I made sure that we did lots of fun stuff together, spent time with relatives and told stories about my own childhood. I wanted to really know my kids and help them know me–and I was grateful for the time we had together every day.

It didn’t make me a perfect parent–far from it–but we had some real good times.

Now, after Newtown, we are all painfully aware that bad things really do happen. In a time when the world seems more full of sadness and loss than ever, I am reminded of the lesson of this work–love those you hold dear, and make time for fun every day.