- Miss PumpkinPenguin
- 5 years ago
- Wedding: September 2010
I do not have children so I would love advice from bee parents.
One of my best friends is the mother of a beautiful 5-year-old. He’s had health problems since birth, including a couple of rare genetic conditions. He had open-heart surgery at 4 months old and several other procedures as well. He has multiple physical setbacks – though, thankfully, no cognitive issues – he’s smart as a whip and really funny. He’s resilient and amazing and has endured more procedures in his little life than most of us will face in a lifetime.
As if this were not enough for the little guy to endure, tomorrow he is having brain surgery for a tumor that his doctors recently discovered on the base of his brain. It’s unclear if it is malignant, but doctors feel compelled to remove it due to its location – if it grows even a bit, he could lose his walking/talking/cognitive/etc abilities.
His parents are also amazingly resilient, but I know they are scared, tired, and holding on the best they can. I am close to this family and plan to be at the hospital with them as they wait during the surgery, and will also be available in the days afterward to help care for their 2-year-old daughter and to provide emotional support.
My question: if you were the parent, what kind of support would you prefer? As you waited in the hospital, would you want snacks, distractions, crossword puzzles? I know this is VERY individual in terms of how people cope, but I’m just looking for ideas.
I know they want family/friends around to be a distraction – as my friend said, “anything to take our minds off the surgery while it’s happening”. I realize that things like board games would be inappropriate, but what about a stack of magazines and maybe crossword or sudoku puzzle books? If I showed up with that, and some homemade brownies or something (comfort food) would that be comforting or would it seem crass, like I was showing up for a celebration?
I hope my question makes sense. I just want to support them and be thoughtful about it. If it helps, these are fairly young parents (mid-30s) who are pretty fun people (they enjoy entertaining, tailgating, etc.)
Thanks for your advice, bee parents!