"They waited because feelings cannot be rushed.
They waited because it was okay that Coen felt blue.
They waited because they knew that Coen's
blue feelings would not last forever.
They waited until Coen was ready."
Blue is a color often associated with sadness. Coen is having a very blue day. His sadness is palpable in every move he makes as the morning begins. Hard to get out of bed, even harder to see his face in the mirror, and hard to quell the feelings of being trapped, tense and hurting. The only thing he can do is go back to bed.
"Coen was never going to get out of bed ever again."
Mom does her best to encourage him. Coen digs deeper into his blankets. Dad invites him outside for a football toss. Coen pulls the blankets tighter. His sister jumps on his bed. Coen cannot find the words to let her know how awful it all feels. A joke, a funny face, a snuggly teddy - nothing helps. Coen turns away from them.
His family is concerned. Mom sits patiently on his bed, saying nothing. The family sits in his room, silent and caring. When he is ready, Coen can appreciate the love and warmth that surrounds him. His blue feelings subside little bit by little bit. Hugs, smiles, and a story bring calm. With everyone's love and complete support, Coen is able to loosen his blanket and smile once more.
"And then he wondered what tomorrow might bring."
Childhood depression is challenging for the children themselves and for their families. Children don't often have the words to describe the overwhelming feelings they are experiencing. There are symptoms that may alert parents, and they are shared in an author's note. Ms. Tomlinson also offers guidance for ways to support a child through difficult times.
Tori-Jay Mordey’s digital images are done in a palette of gentle blues and pinks to comfort and inspire empathy for Coen and his loving family. They are emotional and telling as Coen's day moves forward with needed support. Changing perspectives add depth, and Coen's stuffed bear is an absolute delight.