Sometimes parents can feel so helpless.

The Globe and Mail has been running a series of features on young children (young is from birth to those heading off to junior kindergarten). What struck me was that recent research has found children can cry for extended periods and parents find themselves unable to provide any comfort to their infants.
I can remember walking the floors for countless hours for our youngest son, Adam. At that time, he seemed to be allergic to everything. His skin seemed very sensitive and could begin to weep and turn to sores at the slightest irritant.
We discovered he was allergic to milk, and then nuts, smoke, animals that shed hair, and a myriad of other irritants.
And that left us, as parents, feeling helpless every time he went into tears.
When he became a toddler, and would stumble and fall, a quick kiss to the knee or hand gave reassurance that he was OK.
On one occasion as a JK student, he fell off some playground equipment and broke his collar bone. The teacher didn’t notice. I didn’t notice that evening.
The child-care provider who came to our home in the mornings discovered he was unable to use one arm the next day. I ended up taking him to the hospital, where the fracture was diagnosed.
My young son was fearful that he had done something wrong and hoped that by keeping quiet, no one would notice.
I felt pretty helpless at not being able to pick up on his injury.
As children grow, other problems arise. It may be not being picked for a team, or being shut out by best friends. We know these things will quickly pass, yet we feel helpless for our children.
As parents, we are called on to console our sons and daughters when the first real love of their lives comes apart. We are as crushed for them as they are for themselves, and we feel helpless that we can’t bandage the hurt.
Last year at this time, our family was on pins and needles as our youngest waited every day for his acceptance offer from universities that he had applied to. We were confident that he would receive them, but all of our reassurance didn’t help.
This year, his year in residence is over and with another friend, the hunt is now on for housing for the fall. Adam and another friend from Fort Frances, along with three others, were confident they had found a home to live in next fall.
It was going to be known as the Northwestern Ontario Residence because at Carleton University in Ottawa, all the residences are named after the immediate surrounding counties and they wanted to mark one for Northwestern Ontario students.
The home deal fell through just before exams started. A great many similar townhouse residences already had been snapped up and Adam and his friend from the Fort were back in the hunt.
I think it has been a long three weeks as the pair have scrambled to find some place to live next year. They are studying and writing exams—and looking.
There is a degree of worry about having a place to live in next fall. Adam would not admit to it. And being a parent almost 2,000 km away makes helping difficult.
As I write this column Monday, I am hoping the appointment the two have this afternoon to view accommodations will be successful.
I am feeling helpless again.

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