After a tough year, teen feels grateful for mom this Mother’s Day

CBC Kids News • Published 2021-05-07 06:00

‘She's been there for me ever since I was little,’ says teen


Last year was tough for Brooklyn Fisher.

The 14-year-old told CBC Kids News she wasn’t herself, she wasn’t talking much to her mom and didn’t feel like she was on the right track.

Normally Brooklyn, who comes from a family of nine kids in Innerkip, Ontario, is known for helping out around the house looking after her younger siblings.

But this year, it was Brooklyn’s turn to ask for help.

The COVID-19 pandemic, along with health concerns, made Brooklyn feel isolated.

“Last year I had anorexia nervosa. I'm still recovering from it now. But, like, I was really sick and, like, I didn't talk to anyone and it was just really bad,” she said.

Speaking up, getting help

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder. 

According to Kids Help Phone, a person with anorexia tends to control their food intake in a strict way and can have a distorted body image.

For Brooklyn, talking to her mom about her feelings and fears this year made things better.

Brooklyn said her mom, Nikki Fisher, encouraged her to get the professional help she needed to understand her disorder.

Bottom line, she was there for her, like always.

“She's been there for me ever since I was little,” Brooklyn said.

Nikki Fisher, left, and her daughter Brooklyn Fisher, right. Brooklyn said she appreciates it when her mom helps her with issues around food and takes time to comfort her. (Image submitted by Nikki Fisher)

While Brooklyn is working with doctors and therapists to help with her diagnosis, she credits her mom for sticking by her and encouraging her to address her worries.

“I'm getting better and ... she helped me — I'm just getting to get to know her more and bonding with her a lot more,” Brooklyn said.

These days, they take time for conversations about forming healthy relationships with food, Brooklyn said.

Brooklyn said having gone through this tough time together, she “definitely” feels closer to her mom.

Not sure who to talk to? Try a hotline like Kids Help Phone.  To use the Kids Help Phone text service, text CONNECT to 686868.  You can also reach a professional counsellor at Kids Help Phone any time day or night by calling 1-800-668-6868.

A new normal

For the Fisher family as a whole, this year has been especially challenging.

Adjusting to the new normal of online school, isolation and added stress of not knowing when the pandemic will end has been hard, Brooklyn said.

Brooklyn, who is the third-oldest child, watched and helped this year as her mom adjusted to raising nine kids through a pandemic, all who have different needs. 

The Fisher family all together. First row left to right: Charlie the dog, Tegan, 7; Kalen, 16; Brooklyn, 14 Jordan, 12, Hayden, 18. Second row left to right: Greyson, 4; Bronwynn, 2; Mason, 3; Talon, 8, Middle: Parents Karl and Nikki. (Submitted by Nikki Fisher)

Brooklyn said her mom worked to add structure to the days.

They’d wake up, do schoolwork and eat meals all together. It became a familiar, safe routine, Brooklyn said.

“She just built a routine that helps all of us in a way that we feel safe again rather than scared and angry about what's going on” during the pandemic, Brooklyn said. “She's really comforted us.”

Special plans for mom’s special day

This year, Brooklyn has plans for a gift of sweet treats to show her mom she cares.

Really, Brooklyn said, she just wants to let her mom know how grateful she is.

“Thank you for being the mom that you've always wanted to be,” she said.

Brooklyn said her mom’s goal as a parent has always been to make sure that her kids “feel loved. And I feel that she's accomplished that.”

With files from Tiffany Mongu/CBC TOP IMAGE CREDIT: Nikki Fisher, Philip Street/CBC

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