Motherhood & Words

Patience! (and other directives from Concussionville)

Tamp down your fear and don’t speed your daughter those many hours from the soccer tournament to the ER (you will end up waiting for over two hours to be seen anyway).

Don’t listen to the nurse you call on the drive, the one who tells you not to feed your daughter before she’s been seen by the doctor. It will be 11 p.m. before you get home. She will be starving and angry.

Clear your plate of work and don’t feel guilty when you have to postpone meetings and then postpone them again. Work shmurk.

Embrace the return to crafts and Legos and Play-Do. Didn’t you say they were growing up too fast?

Remember that though you are parenting as intensely as if you had a toddler, you really don’t, and you can leave her alone to go take a long shower. Do this every day.

Call on your own mother, who will come over and read aloud for hours at a time.

Don’t take anything your daughter says personally—unless it’s super sweet, and then bask in it, congratulating yourself on being such an incredible mother. (Don’t worry. This won’t go to your head. The feeling will last only a moment.)

Remind her that the emotional rollercoaster she’s on is just part of the concussion. She won’t be this way forever.

Make sure your other daughter doesn’t feel ignored. Bribe her and set up play dates and keep telling her how amazing she is.

Pick up your bass guitar every day, even if you have to sneak it onto the porch to practice. When you are alone in the house, amp that shit up and rock out. It will do you a world of good.

Be a fierce advocate, but back off when she insists she can communicate her needs to her teachers on her own. (Life lesson?Check.)

Download Audible. (30-day free trial!) She can listen to her English books on her phone. And since family movie nights are out, download Harry Potter and make a huge bowl of popcorn.

Do her physical therapy exercises with her. Because they are hard and probably good for you too.

And in two weeks or four weeks or six weeks—remember: patience!—when she finally steps onto the soccer field again, try not to cringe every time a ball or a defender or a shadow comes close to her.

Posted in


I have been teaching creative writing for almost twenty years. Reading about other women’s lives and experiences has expanded my world. To be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, whether it’s for a moment or an hour or a few days, is an incredible gift, providing me with insight into the human experience. It takes courage to write your truths, especially if it doesn’t seem as though anyone cares, as though anyone is listening. Let me tell you: your stories matter, I’m listening, and I’m here to help you find the heart of those truths, to get them down on the page, to craft them, and to send them out into the world. Together, we will change the world, one story at a time.


  1. Joy on May 4, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Oh, Kate. You convey so much by what you say, and what you don’t say. It’s hard to be patient when your kid is hurting. Thinking of you all and sending healing thoughts and positive energy.

    • Kate on May 4, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      Thank you so much, Joy! We all need Joy energy here!

  2. Heidi Parton on May 4, 2017 at 11:04 am


    You are vastly more patient that I would be, or have been, in comparable (which is not to say, similar) situations. Does this all bring back some of the waiting you went through when S. was a premie?

    Yes to audible! Yes to Harry Potter! Yes to amping up that bass!



    • Kate on May 4, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      Heidi, it totally does! On the drive to the ER I kept flashing back to the NICU. So crazy.

  3. Lisa Witz on May 4, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    This is fantastic! I love your mantras, and the inner dialogue of mothering. Your in the thick of the parenting, and look at the beauty you create out of it right here. Sending Stella healing powers!

    • Kate on May 4, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Thank you, Lisa! I haven’t been writing at all, but this is what came to me in the shower this morning!

  4. Jess on May 4, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    I love you guys, and let me know if you need me to come over and spell you! If she’ll allow it. ; )

    • Kate on May 4, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      She would! A walk?

  5. Welcome on May 4, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Good reminders for us all. Patience, they grow up too quickly, it won’t go to our heads, and so much more.
    Keep going, step by step.

    • Kate on May 4, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      Thank you, Welcome! Hugs right back at you!

  6. Krista on May 4, 2017 at 9:15 pm


    Yes! Amp that shit up and rock out for all the concussion related trauma. And do a riff for the state of healthcare in America while you’re at it. Thinking of you during this intense time. Love and healing coming your way!

    • Kate on May 5, 2017 at 7:26 am

      Thank you, Krista! And healthcare–I know. It’s sickening.

  7. Pamela alma on May 5, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Beautiful powerful. Yes to self care. Yes to trusting that it will end. Yes to the tiny glimmers of love and knowing that the rage and frustration is not you. Hugs love bows prayers

    • Kate on May 5, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      Thank you, Pamela! Hugs!

  8. Angie on May 5, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Love this! Hate that you’re going through it. (“Amp that shit up.” Advice for life.)

    • Kate on May 7, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Yes, Angie! xo