In Comparison

I took Charlotte to the pediatrician for her 9 month well-check this morning. She will be 9 months old on Sunday- what? How is she already this close to being ONE, and finished with her babyhood?

It’s so refreshing to take her to the doctor, let her crawl around the exam room while waiting, and not have an ounce of anxiety about the appointment. Charlotte is perfectly, wonderfully, amazingly HEALTHY. She meets every milestone right on time, eats well, and babbles constantly. She’s never had an antibiotic or even a dose of Motrin.

I don’t write all this to brag, but just to contrast it with the experience of her big brother. ALL of Grayson’s many doctors appointments give me varying amounts of anxiety. I hate having to list the six medications and five supplements he takes every day (most of them 2-3 times a day). I hate having to explain every.single.time. that Grayson can’t stand on a scale to be weighed. And a lot of times it’s hard to have a focused conversation with a doctor with a squirmy, stiff, whiny 3 year old on my lap.

Grayson has had a tough week so far. Since his seizure on Saturday, he’s had two more, one at bedtime last night and one at school this morning. I picked him up early from school today because after his seizure, he fell sound asleep and was sleeping the day away.

When I sit and think about the comparison of my children’s health, it’s so hard not to get a little panicky about Grayson. When I’m totally focused on him, he’s just Grayson, and how he is is “normal” to me. His weird neurological ticks, his constant drool and the way his arms and legs move stiffly and unnaturally- that’s just Grayson. But then I contrast him with Charlotte, and how easily and effortlessly she moves, and learns new things. How she’s already mimicking words, and turns when she hears her name. She’s light years ahead of her brother in development. It’s frightening to face that truth, which I often subconsciously ignore, even though it’s right there, playing out in our living room every single day.

Grayson isn’t a baby anymore, and it’s becoming more and more noticeable that he isn’t a typical kid. When he was a baby, he looked like a baby. Most people had no idea anything was wrong with him. Now, his wheelchair, his awkward movements, his feeding tube, and the fact that he doesn’t respond to people talking to him totally give away that he’s special needs. Which is fine. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed of him one bit, there’s just a part of me (probably a big part) that’s heartbroken that Grayson isn’t getting better, and that his differences are just becoming more and more obvious and pronounced.

It kills me to watch my little boy struggle so much and miss out on so much of life. Mercifully, he doesn’t know what he’s missing though, and is surrounded by people who love him and do our best to make his life good.

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5 thoughts on “In Comparison

  1. It's so hard for ANY parent to not compare their kid to others (of the same age or to milestones of another in the family). I can't imagine knowing that your son will never “catch up” to your daughter. I'm glad he's surrounded by people who love him and do the best they can to help him be as happy & comfortable as can be.

  2. How frustrating to watch your youngest achieve and pass milestones that your oldest never will. It's got to be terribly heartbreaking. I am so glad that Grayson doesn't know the difference though.

    Hugs to you. Lots of hugs!

  3. I know this is such a challenge, as we rejoice in C and her milestones, it is of course understandable to be sad for what G won't achieve. He is wonderful as he is, but we wish things were easier for him etc. I'm so thankful that C is doing so well and that her 9m appt went well! Xoxo

  4. Ahh! How I connect with this post SO well. Having Grace, and as she gets older things are becoming more and more noticeable to others too, that' she's not typical. I LOVE Grace, and I wouldn't change a thing about her (except I WOULD change the fact that she has extra challenges), my heart just breaks because of the things she has and will have to endure. Then, being pregnant with #2 (we go next week for our gender and anatomy ultrasound)…I HOPE and PRAY that this baby will be healthy and that I will get my “Charlotte”. Much love to you and yours. Thanks for your writing, and for being my “friend” on this journey.

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