Friday, February 1, 2013

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.


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

Anonymous said...

thanks for being real. Hope is not home yet (6 months in the hospital born at 25 weeks under 2 lbs) but her journey with food is going to be a long one. She has an oral aversion and a g tube and it is hard when I see babies taking bottles.....breaks my heart.

Your story helped give me insight into what i may feel in the near future....kinda almost there.

As NICU parents I think we will always struggle with our children and normalcy...partly because it seems human nature for us to desire the "best" for them.

I love the end of your article. I think we will always have to remind ourselves that they are miracles and super heros. Thankfully the NICU heartache and daily struggles they faced can be at times erased from our minds...which might not be so bad......

This all reminds me of the Israelites in the bible. They were so close to the promised land yet because they kept forgetting their beginning...they became distracted - complained, were selfish and sinned. We will always ned to remind ourselves of our beginning so that we don't fall into this trap.

Thanks again for sharing! Blessings to your family!

Jessi said...

Thanks for the comment! Love hearing from you. It's interesting because I wrote this about a year and a half ago. So much has changed! I feel like each and every month away from Jack's NICU journey has been healing. The further I get, and the older Jack gets, I feel like I am so much more ready to handle the feelings, the emotions. You will get there, too.

Lynnie said...

My son was alot like yours, although he is not a preemie and not going along the same route of development, he was/is a very shy child. I would take him to playgroups or library story times and he would cling to me, he would not want to join in the singing or dancing and was scared of all the other children. A year on, he has much improved. He doesn't mind when another child comes up to him in the playground. He welcomes it (although, he wont approach new kids himself). He has friends he made through daycare and will seek to find them on arrival. In a group situation when singing nursery rhymes, he will still whisper or only mouth the words but not sing loudly like the others. But he enjoys being included so much. Sometimes I wish my son was more daring or loud like the others, but I have to remind myself that this world would be a pretty boring place if we were all the same :)

Jessi said...

So true, Lynnie!