Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Note to Self

We decided to get out of the house for a couple hours today. To get some fresh air and to let Jack go to Story Time at the local library.

Whenever we are around other children, and I try not to focus on this, but I become all too aware that Jack is just not your typical child. He doesn't react the way the rest of the children do. His behaviors are very unique. He is shy and clingy. He doesn't listen to the story. But still, we go. Perhaps just being around the other kids is good for him. At least I can tell he is interested when they sing "Wheels on the Bus". That's about it. I want him to be around more kids as he gets older. He needs to be social. I just desperately want him to have normal childhood experiences and to enjoy them. Most of the time, and I'm being really honest here, he doesn't. It's hard for me to watch.

On the way out of Story Time, we pass by the little coffee kiosk inside the library. I see some baked goods being sold. I don't know why I do this, but I say "let's get a treat". I know he can't eat them. But still, I say it. I buy a treat. I desperately wish he would eat a cookie. It's like, if I pretend things are normal, then maybe they will be one day?

.....

Jack continues to straddle this invisible line (but clearly visible in my head) of typical and non-typical. Why can't I just let things be? I was really getting mad at myself on the drive home. Remembering how just earlier this morning, I was looking at statistics of 23 weekers and their survival rate. Why do I so easily forget? Where is my gratitude? Why my constant comparing?

Let it go, Jessi.

Let it go.




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10 comments:

Angie said...

I took a few days last week and read your entire blog - from the very beginning to now. I cannot imagine what you are going through, because I have not walked in your shoes...yes I have 4 children, but have not experienced what you have...yet, I can try to understand from a "mothers point of view". I believe he is a miracle...truly a miracle. I'm sure it is extremely hard not to compare him to other children who are his age - what parent doesn't do that regardless of the circumstances? I think we all have from time to time. It's very easy to succumb to the "why me" syndrome, we all do it. However, it is how you recover from that period of questioning or doubt that makes you who you are...that makes YOU stronger for the next time. It's okay to ask, to wonder, and to wish. From reading your blog, you are a VERY strong person, a wonderful mother...and I truly believe that by the grace of God, Jack will be exactly where you want him to be - exactly where HE belongs. God gave him to you because He knew you could handle it...and you are. Just keep your head up during these difficult times of questioning and know you are not alone.

Ashley said...

Beatrice Kate is very similar. She's shy and scared by loud, aggressive kids her age. Maybe it's because of her quarantines, or maybe it's because we Preemie Moms keep our ducklings under our wings a little more... You're doing an amazing job with the hand you've been dealt. Jack is lucky to have you as a mommy.

Emily Real said...

You are asking the hard questions. You are willing to go there, even here out in the open. It seems to me (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), that your comparing is not an "I wish Jack were normal" sort of comparing, but you truly want the most and best for him. You want him to have positive childhood experiences. I'm not a mother, but it sounds like your heart expressing deep mother's love, not just comparison.

I was reaching in the cupboard, deciding which mug to use and actually reached first for a different one, but you were on my heart as I reached for "ours." Praying for you today especially as you walk the hard road. Love you!

amy said...

I agree with all the comments above. And I know what you mean - and willing things to be "normal" is how mom's function - even with term babies!

Michelle said...

I wouldn't beat yourself up too much. Comparing your child to other children in one way or another is pretty common. Doing so doesn't mean you are jealous or disappointed in your child at all. You just want the absolute best for Jack. My 6 year-old son has some behavioral/social issues and he stands out from the rest of his classmates as well. I worry sometimes but then I tell myself that I would rather him be unique than just like all the other kids. I know Jack may have more challenges than many kids, but he is loved beyond measure by you and your family and that will help him through all of life's hurdles.

Cathy said...

I found your blog not too long ago and I love reading it. I know how you feel, both with wanting them to be "normal" and also then feeling guilty. I do the same thing. I have three living preemies, all of whom have had their difficulties, and it's hard not to wish they were different sometimes. But then, I look around and see what other problems they could have and I feel thankful for the problems we have! It's hard, your mind is constantly worrying and wishing and hoping. But it's for a good cause, it means you love Jack so much!

Michelle said...

We're told to isolate them and yet we're told they are developmentally behind in their social skills. Imagine that! It's pretty easy to see a correlation there. I have heard from other micro parents that once they start pre-school, they will really flourish with language and social skills. It's strange how all of us micro-moms have thought/felt such similar emotions at some point in our journey. Your post reminded me of a post I wrote when the kids were still in the NICU. http://camdyncade.blogspot.com/2010/06/am-i-crazy-pretending-to-be-normal-or.html.

Sometimes it is easier to pretend to just be "normal" and buy the treat anyway. Hopefully, you got to enjoy the treat. One day he'll love eating cookies, and you will watch him eat that cookie with so much joy in your heart.

Sarah Pope said...

I think it's wonderful the way that you are trying to give Jack normal experiences (even though he may not apprecaite them now.) I think it's good for both of you to have a bit of 'normal' (who really knows what that is anyway?!?)
I had a friend once tell me that she did things with her non-verbal, special needs child just because it made HER feel more normal as a mom.
Perhaps being born 17 weeks early gives a kid a different perspective on the world?

lindsalita said...

I was once told that there are not special children, there are special parents. You are the perfect mother for Jack.

Angie said...

Don't be so hard on yourself, you are human! And yes you are grateful but your journey has not been easy. We are just starting...I find myself looking at pics of my oldest daughter trying to figure out when she did this and that, I need to stop :)