Sunday, January 27, 2019

Hugs in the Parking Lot

By Xanthe Alyse Chefurka Faulkner

Editor's Note: This is a repost of a blog entry from September 23, 2015. It resonated so much that we felt we should post it one more time!  The post was originally found on one of the craniosynostosis groups on Facebook, and graciously, the author, Xanthe Faulkner, agreed to let me share it on our blog. I believe it's a succinct and beautiful peek into the lives of our amazing cranio moms and dads, and a great example of why family networking is so critically important and huge part of the work we do at CCA Kids. 

Why we cranio families are who we are...
So Helmetbaby here is in daycare. And the day he started, 4 months ago, I looked at a boy in his class and thought "Saggital. For sure." But you know how it is - I never crossed paths with his parents, don't know the family, maybe he's already being followed, etc... But we're very public about our son's journey, so all the staff know us and the details of our little guy's condition and journey.
So this morning I was carrying my son across the parking lot towards the school. And a woman I don't know calls to me, softly, and comes over. "I need to talk to you," she falters, "I'm so happy you came just now. The teachers said I should, that I could..." And tears well up in her eyes, and I knew right away. With my son cradled in one arm I wrapped my other arm around this stranger and held her tightly. Of course she was the other little boy's mom, and she had gotten CT confirmation of fused saggital and metopic [planes of the anatomy of the skull] the day before. "I'm so upset," she said, soft spoken and shocked, "I never expected. I'm beside myself. I forgot all my groceries in the store yesterday. I'm so distracted and scared, I don't know what to do."
She doesn't have Facebook to get support from you all, she hasn't even met with a neuro[logist] yet, but I gave her my number. We'll have coffee. I told her my son was fine, more than fine, and that while it had been scary, the results were fantastic. That everything will be okay. And guys, I felt so clearly... That we as cranio parents are the only ones that get it. The sudden fear of realizing they will have to cut your child's skull open and piece it back together. The terror of things going wrong. Worries about their little growing brains. The unknown. And I thought about how people who understand first hand are the only ones who seem to bring any comfort sometimes. You can't fake having been there. And once you've been there, you are driven to reach out to others standing in the new fear,
To hug them in the parking lot,
To whisper,
"I know."

Thank you all for being that for me and so many other families. 
Thank you for teaching me how to be that for others. XO.

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