What ATN Means to Me: Miles to go Before “We” Sleep

December 2, 2014

by:  Craig Peterson

snowy woods

Perhaps poet Robert Frost knew something about trauma. No doubt, the images in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” relate to our families:


Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though.

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.


Wouldn’t the silence of the woods be inviting after a long day with our kids? Who wouldn’t take that moment of anonymity?


My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.


Yet we caregivers can’t escape the myriad of thoughts that overwhelm our minds every night – so many answered questions about tomorrow, next week, the following year. What will become of my traumatized child?


He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sounds the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.


Can’t we enjoy the solitude just a little while longer? The need to refresh ourselves is essential to surviving another day – and never losing hope.


The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.


But the pull of our obligations soon gets us back on course. Before rest is possible, we have much distance to travel.


Thankfully, we parents aren’t alone. The Attachment and Trauma Network – the oldest parent-led organization focusing on childhood trauma and therapeutic parenting – is always one step ahead to guide us.


Although ATN began 20 years ago as a support group for parents who felt alone and isolated, its mission has broadened to include education and advocacy. The recent “NATA Day” campaign and “Educating Traumatized Children” summit are great examples – with more collaborative initiatives coming your way in 2015.


D. Craig Peterson is a retired ATN Board Director. You name it, Craig has a story to share in achieving success and learning from mistakes as he raised six children to adulthood...all while maintaining faith and believing in unconditional love. He understands the ups and downs of learning challenges, special education, psychotropic medications, ADHD, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, sexual abuse, juvenile justice, residential placement and so much more. In his upcoming book Adopting Faith: A Father's Unconditional Love, Peterson details his journey in raising six children who brought unbelievable challenges from their birth families and the foster care system. His parenting is a combination of typical and unconventional strategies." His blog is here: https://adoptingfaithafathersunconditionallove.org/

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