Not Wanting RSS

This afternoon, my two sons and I took the liberty of driving a friend home from school.  His mom needed a favor, and I obliged – it wasn’t a hard decision.  I got to color and play with her 2 year old girl and hold her 7 week old baby for hours!  So, after she left for home – I drove to the school to pick up all three boys.

At some point, the boys were discussing having girlfriends.  Now, at age 6 and 8 years of age – it’s not a topic of discussion that I’m used to – but, nonetheless, it was interesting to hear where there heads were at in the name of “love”.

After we dropped of our friend, the topic of getting married came up.  My 6-year old sais he doesn’t want a wife and he doesn’t want kids!

He also said he didn’t want Russell-Silver Syndrome.  Before I ask why – he get’s really quiet and sais he can’t have a sleepover because all of the kids will make fun of him having a stinky pull-up.  He repeats that he wishes he didn’t have Russell-Silver Syndrome…and begins to cry.

I immediately felt his sadness and suggested that if we didn’t hook him up to his nightly feeding (g-tube and pump) just that one special time – that he might be less apt to pee in his pull-up.  Then, in the morning – he could rush into our bathroom and I’d have a pair of underpants waiting for him – and he could change before any of his friends would know.   He brightened up and decided that having a sleepover would work after all.

These are the times that remind me that no matter how much I love my child, give him support and encouragement – this “one” child of mine will always face the fact that he’s “different”.  No matter how many times I tell him he’s unique, everyone has “something”, or that he’s special no matter what……he realizes that 100% of the population he is surrounded with on a daily basis – does not have his particular syndrome…that 98% of the people he “knows” do not have g-tubes or get continuous feeds at night….that 100% of the kids in his class do not have to go to the school nurse to have their lunch checked every day….and that 100% of the kids in his class do not have a g-tube (nor do any of the children in the entire elementary school). 

It’s times like these that make me question my parenting skills.  I wonder if there is enough encouragement, positive reinforcement and feedback to help my sweet child understand that his “differences” do not hinder him from being whatever and whoever he wants to be.  He knows I love him – but, he’s still too young to understand how wonderful that really is.

Copyright 2010 – Heather J. Earley