A little lesson I learnt about boys again.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Don’t repeat something that may be embarrassing for a boy.
Whatever their age – this is a lesson l will bear this in mind as my sons get older.

My 9yo was at a father and son camp over the weekend and my 8 yo was asking when is his brother coming back. “Mum come play with me.”, “When are they getting back?”, “What time will they be here?”.

Well on my son’s return they were watching television and I sat next to them and casually said to my oldest son – “Hey, your brother kept asking for you – he must have missed you!”
My 8yo son quickly interjected –“I was only asking when he’d come home so I could kick him on his butt”.... mmm. I kept quiet – my oldest son and I shared a knowing smile. In that moment I learnt quickly that although I interpreted correctly – I should not have let on to his brother how he feels. Hopefully, it won’t stop him sharing things in the future but I will be more considerate because my son wants to be perceived as “macho” not “emo” and some things/feelings are embarrassing for some boys.

They have played beautifully (another mummy word - don't tell the boys) this week. Does absence make the heart grow fonder... I wonder?

A Testing Time

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

After another rush to the emergency department again, it’s clear that what ‘my child has..’ is not going away anytime soon and it is going to be a part of our lives for the next few years. Anything as simple as a cold or virus could mean a hospital stay for my 3yo. During this most recent, thankfully, shorter stay –I thought I would reflect on some things I am learning going through this testing time.
In hospital, hours can seem like minutes or they can seem like days. The majority of the time I spent crying, this could probably be attributed to the lack of sleep and the feeling of helplessness and fear of not knowing and not being able to control what is happening.

I am also grieving the ‘normality’, the simplicity and order of things as they were, just 5 weeks ago, is now gone. Life during this testing time is going to be a daily battle, a constant concern and at times a real juggling act with my two older children.
It is the sense of responsibility that weighs heavily and it is in this testing time that I have to learn through and from experience. I have to somehow, according to my doctor, be able to predict how my son is going to be in the next 12 hours – like a weatherman I guess. However, with no instruments and no previous experience or training. Only my instincts which currently aren’t “in tune” as well as I would like them to be, a little overloaded by emotions and met with only bits of information that don’t quite all fit together yet. There is no program to follow, no security and at times it feels out of my control. Feels?, it is out of my control.

So far I am learning:

Lesson 1: I have to take one day at a time – not planning too far ahead because I don’t know if something will come up unexpectedly.

Lesson 2: Expect the unexpected, expect that not everything is going to go according to plan or how I would like it to be.

Lesson 3: It’s ok to feel uncertain and unsure, I am learning as I go and hopefully and thankfully I have supportive people around me.

Lesson 4: Take offers of help, very important and make contingency plans, this I can control.

Lesson 5: Continue to look for positives – yes I have worries but I have faith too and that is where strength, resolution and wisdom comes from.

Your child has....

Monday, October 11, 2010

These are three words no parent wants to hear.
Your child has ..... before anything else is just frightening, shocking and at times even saddening. Yes, it could also be positive but most often it is used in situations that aren’t.

What my child has, is not life threatening, fortunately, and it is treatable. Our parental instincts are to protect our children and we want them to grow up and old and happy and be all they can be. It was difficult to hear “Your child has...” and not think of the worst case or think I could have done something to prevent this or what will I do now.

My first reaction was based on preconceived ideas, things I’d heard or seen on television. It has taken some time and encouragement from hospital staff and my husband to put what my child has into real perspective and allow my child to resume some of the ‘normal’ things he was doing before, without constantly asking him “are you ok?”, “can you breath?”,“should you be doing that?” . Hopefully with some more education and information seeking on my part, and talking about it with others, which has been very reassuring, over time this will become "my child only has..".
On a side note, I do find talking with others very encouraging and hearing how they have dealt with a similar experience is helpful - especially when I don't know what to expect or look for. It is by raising our own circumstance that we find others who have been there before us and alot of the time we are not the first to experience something.

My thoughts are with all parents whose children need some special care and attention. I’d love to hear how you deal with it?

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