Amongst the many things I didn’t like about summer camp, being on the bottom bunk below a bed-wetter compromised even the would-be refuge of sleep. Yet despite fearing that it would leak through the half-inch of a sorry mattress and rain on me, I still felt compassion for the poor fellow-eight-year-old treading up the hill with his soiled sheets every summer morning for the long two months. I also admired that kid for being willing to go to summer camp with enuresis (although it’s possible that he didn’t want to go any more than I did).
Enuresis (doctor-speak for peeing in bed) is generally considered an issue after five or six years old if the bedwetting happens more than a couple of times per month. While the experts do not suggest doing nothing at all about it, enuresis almost always takes care of itself over time.
My key voice here is not to advise but to encourage, to give info and provoke thoughtfulness so that parents will trust their own instincts, and also find pleasure and a sense of right-path through whatever is on their plates.
Parenting demands that we connect with our kids, it nourishes us by getting us to engage; talking and thinking about parenting is a way for parents and non-“parents” alike to connect, to discover a shifting and widening sense of respectful and interconnected community. Even if we don’t have kids, or if our kids don’t pee in their beds, we can still realize that in reading these words we subtly link with those who do care about this issue today, sending compassion and deepening connections that may not be obvious or tangible. And in being compassionate about those who can’t hold their urine all night, we might heal around the things we have trouble holding, be it anxiety, sadness, loneliness or anger.