There's nothing better than watching your child sleep. They can't talk back to you or yell at you about how unfair you are.
But above all, they are simply a pocket full of potential. You can sit beside them just wondering what they will do with their lives. What job will they have, what might they invent, will they be kind and happy?
A very dear friend in my life has I'm sure, also sat on the end of her son's bed, her mind filled with the same hopes and dreams.
But as the years went by, those hopes and dreams have taken a back seat and now life is just a battle for survival for her young man.
Mental health issues have snuffed out a clever mind, an athletic body and the ability to support and care for himself.
Through no fault of his own, life is now foggy and confusing, and quite often - not safe.
For some time now, I have watched his mum drowning in red tape and protocols as she tries to care for him. She has no power to make decisions for her child because he is an adult.
Despite years of bad decisions that have landed him in real strife, she still has no right to get information or speak to carers.
Time after time she slumps down at my dining room table sharing the drama each day brings.
With no experience in dealing with mental health issues, I listen in horror wondering how we could have a system failing this mum, and this family.
Until something really severe happens, maybe violence, she has no choice but to keep making repeated phone calls, knocking on doors, facing rejection and frustration.
It's a never-ending cycle and it's taking its toll.
My fear is that while she battles for her son's safety and wellbeing, her own mental state is at risk.
Exhaustion sets in, the sadness in her eyes overwhelms me and the sense of helplessness overwhelms her.
You can't help but wonder how many other families are dealing with the same issues as they care for a loved one.
And no doubt, the frustration must spill over into the lives of those who work in mental health areas.
For now, as I find myself totally unable to help, all I have to give are hugs, tissues and the chance to plead with our community to support families like this.
- If you need help, call Lifeline 13 11 14.