Everyone has issues that may not be apparent to others. Maybe these problems are related to health issues, loss of a loved one, or stress at work. But obviously, people can’t read minds, and no one likes to wear a sign that advertises what they’re going through. This makes it difficult for people to be sympathetic to others in their time of need. But some children across the United States have decided to show off tiny hearts that have been drawn on their wrists. And these hearts represent something very special. So, if you see a child with one of these hearts, you won’t have to ask why they have one after you read this.Maybe someone you pass on the street is having bigger money problems than you are or maybe they’ve left their doctor’s office after learning that they have an illness. Whatever people are dealing with, the truth of the matter is, life is tough, and Liz Petrone knows this better than anyone.
She often blogs about what it’s like to live in central New York, and she also discusses family matters, and that includes her kids. But during a recent post, she really caught the eyes of every one of her followers.
In one post, she talked about her son, Luca, and the reason why she decided to draw a heart on his little wrist. When people learned the reason behind such an interesting gesture, they were instantly moved.
She had faced this condition after she gave birth to her third baby. It wasn’t an easy thing to come forward with, but she wrote that it was important to recognize this condition in honor of National Postpartum Depression Awareness Month.
In one of her posts, she wrote: “We need to keep talking, even when we don’t want to, even when it’s unsightly or embarrassing or uncomfortable… Because one in eight women suffers from postpartum depression or anxiety following the birth of a child.”
Naturally, she decided to discuss the fact that her son Luca had started to show symptoms of anxiety. So, she decided that it was important to write a blog entry about a time in her son’s life that was particularly challenging.
Her son Luca had grown anxious, but after the bus got there, he got on it and went to school. But this left Liz feeling a little worried after witnessing what appeared to be her son suffering from some serious anxiety.
Liz decided that one of the best ways to cope with this situation was to write about it on a regular basis. Meanwhile, she hoped that Luca’s anxiety would lessen as the Christmas break approached; but it actually didn’t.
Her son had apparently reached a critical point with his anxiety. Even as the bus pulled away, she noticed that he was crying. Obviously, she wasn’t going to stand there and do nothing. She knew she had to act fast.
She grabbed her son’s wrist and gave it a kiss. Then she used the pen to mark the area where she had kissed him near a vein. In it, she decided to draw a little heart, and it was the sweetest idea that she had come up with so far.
She told him: “I know it’s hard sometimes out there—I want you to look at this heart every time it feels like too much. I want you to look, and I want you to remember that no matter what happens out there, someone is here waiting for you to come home. Someone loves you.”
On Facebook, Liz expressed the following sentiment: “Maybe what we all need to remember is just that simple. Maybe it’s not a fix, not by a long shot, but it’s a comfort just the same, and comfort can go a long way when you know someone loves you.”
A Facebook page called “Love What Matters” decided to share her post, and when other parents caught wind of what she did, they started using her heart idea to help their kids. They also shared their personal stories with her, which were truly moving to say the least.
“Thank you for this. My sweet first grader has a heart so big it cripples her at times. I have had to pick her up from school when it becomes too much,” she wrote to Liz. “I am looking forward to trying this tomorrow with her.”
Naturally, she was beyond grateful and couldn’t believe the responses. Liz commented, “Thank you so much for sharing this message, Love What Matters! To all my mamas (and papas) with anxious little ones, I feel you. Also, I swear these kids are going to change the world with their big hearts. We just gotta get them there.”
Mallet called her idea the “hug button,” and she wrote that she used it on her son because: “I could tell he was feeling a little emotional this morning so we had a chat and came up with the idea of having a heart each and if we pressed it, it sent a hug to the other one.”
Her story was shared by the Facebook page “The Motherload,” and like Liz’s idea, Mallet’s efforts started to appeal to other parents with kids who were going through the same thing. She shared that one day after school, Max said: “I pressed it for a long time mummy, but I didn’t cry.”
On the Facebook page “Relax Kids Tamworth,” a UK parent wrote: “My daughter gets quite anxious in various situations; one of them being on rainy days at school last year. As much as she was supported and reassured, she still struggled to cope.”
One parent shared what a heart and a sunshine can do: “I drew a heart and a sunshine on my hand and explained to my daughter that if I drew one on hers too, that at any time she felt sad or worried during the day she could look at it and know that I had one on my hand too.”
Liz continues to share the struggles her son Lucas endures with mental health and anxiety. But perhaps, a beautiful gesture like this one can bring comfort to other kids and parents who are struggling with anxiety. These touching symbols remind kids that: “You are not alone. Even when it feels like it.”