Do I take my daughter to see her daddy in hospital?
This was a question I struggled with recently. As many of you are aware my husband was involved in a road traffic accident and sustained substantial head injuries; not a phone call any loved one ever wants to receive late on a Friday night. However, he is expected to make a full recovery after giving us all quite a fright.
Perfect childhood to blame?
Coincidentally, as I was whiling away time in the hospital, reading yet another trashy newspaper, I came across an article, but for the life of me I can’t remember the woman’s name. However, she grew up in the 70s in the perfect house on a perfect street with perfect parents. Growing up she didn’t know a single person with divorced parents!
She was never exposed to any of life’s challenges and now as an adult she’s unable to cope with further education, relationships, work and now being a parent. Ironically, in a time when people wear a bad upbringing as a badge of honour, she blames her ‘perfect upbringing’.
As an adult, I feel I’m quite good at dealing with difficult situations as I was given the opportunity as a child/young adult. My life hasn’t been anymore difficult than anyone else’s, I’ve experienced death, divorce, disappointment and disease, but my mother never sheltered us from these situations when they happened. However, she was always careful with the amount she did share, telling us just enough to put us at ease.
From the beginning, I was honest with my 4 year old and told her that ‘daddy had fallen off his bike and bumped his head and would need to stay in the hospital for awhile’. After a couple of days they both started asking to see each other and I was really torn. Do I take her or don’t I take her? On the outside she seemed okay, but I could tell that she was worrying as she was a bit quieter than usual, which may be because the last two people she visited in hospital died.
In the end, I decided to take her. A friend suggested that the best thing to do was to prepare her first. My friend kindly sent me a photo of her own son; one with a black eye and another a few weeks later with it healed. I showed these to her on the train, explaining that Daddy looked different but in time he would be heal.
When we arrived she was very quiet and I slightly panicked that I made the wrong decision, but within minutes she climbed into bed with him, they shared a much needed cuddle and quickly began arsing around with the bed controls laughing and carrying on as usual. Phew!
When we got home she did say that she ‘was scared when she first saw him’ but I could tell that a giant weight had been lifted off her little shoulders.
What would you have done?