Fly Arrows, Fly

Nathan A. Cunningham
2 min readAug 24, 2023
Photo by zhou xuan on Unsplash

There is a proverb that likens one’s children to arrows. If you have kids you want them to fly! To make an impact. To live well.

When they do, the joy, pride, and surprise is unlike any other human experience.

An example of this was something my daughter wrote recently and I want to raise awareness on a chronic issue in our society that seems to go unnoticed. And unlike my children or yours dear reader, many children are coming into the world with a huge obstacle to overcome.

You’ve heard of the opioid crisis and perhaps have seen the mini-series Dopesick on Hulu — if not, it’s eyeopening to say the least. But there is a hidden collateral damage. A vulnerable group is being ravished by this crisis.

Have you heard of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome?

Neither had I until my daughter started working at a clinic that specializes in helping newborns overcome this, but their plight and the work to help them is little known.

She writes in more detail on this “Invisible Battle” here.

A few thoughts to consider:

  • Fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin, and 100 times stronger than morphine.
  • “It is often added to other drugs because of its extreme potency, which makes drugs cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more dangerous.” — source
  • “Both fentanyl and heroin are considered to be extremely addictive drugs.” — source
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is the medical term for babies experiencing withdrawal upon birth.

I would liken addiction to a raging wildfire. One lick of flame, and a furious blaze ravages everything in sight. It takes a village to tame. Just so, once a drug has got its hold on you, it is nearly impossible to just quit. Very few have access to the resources, care, and support necessary to extinguish the flame. And when a woman finds herself pregnant, her needs and then the needs of her baby rise exponentially.
— Emma Cunningham

These babies are “the least of these”. They are helpless to solve their condition and their mom’s get at least a fighting chance to change course.

Emma Cunningham is my daughter and works at Maddie’s Place in Spokane, WA. I love seeing her make an impact.

The babies and the people helping them need us to be aware. Would you please consider helping by sharing this post or supporting their efforts financially?

Maybe with greater awareness and support these babies become arrows in their own right surprising us and their parents with lives well lived.