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.
This post originally appeared on November 9, 2011. Republished today as part of our Flashback Friday series.