|Camping July 2011|
We took the kids camping for the first time and Hank loved it. Hiking, boating, jet skis, roasting marshmallows, eating outside...the kid adored it. And except for a few glitches...24 loud college students who partied until 3am right next to our campsite...and a dead car battery...it was great! (Let me tell you...at 3 am, I am not nice...at all! Those college kids RAN to bed!)
|Right before 1st trip to NYC: Hank 7, Charlie 4, Lucy 3.|
Now here we are, three years later...Hank is a different kid. Outgoing, in the band, playing sports, doing great in school... the trauma of the last few years hasn't left us unscathed...We have suffered financially...lost our home, miscarriage, Jeff had to take on another job... but we are in recovery...as a family...and as with everything else we've been through, we do it together.
|1st day of 5th grade.|
Hank is a constant worry to me. Not at the forefront of my mind, like it was in the beginning...but still right there, where I think about it pretty much every day. I don't just worry about his physical health...but his emotional well-being...he's been through so much! Hank doesn't talk about it very often...he reflects on things, but doesn't usually bring it up. Until a few days ago, that is...
I was with Hank in the bathroom, putting gel in his hair, to get the desired "spikes" in front. As Hank looked in the mirror, he asked, "Do I look weird in the mirror?" I froze. "What?" I asked. Again he said, "Do I look weird in the mirror?" My heart dropped to my feet. "Why do you ask?" I inquired. He stared at himself for a moment..."A boy at school told me that I look weird in the mirror." UGH! I hate this! The truth is, Hank DOES look different in the mirror. When you look at someone with PRS through a mirror, they look odd. Not symmetrical at all...even with having surgery. Everything is pronounced and the differences are obvious. (two dimensional world) I know it, Jeff knows it, our family members all know about it... but I was hoping we could go a few years before Hank noticed. OK, I was really hoping he would NEVER notice!
|Homecoming game Oct. 2011|
Slowly, he turned to face me. "Then I don't know what I really look like." Double UGH! I could feel my heart breaking. "No, no..." I said, "You have pictures and videos. That is what you look like to me." As we stood there together, I said, "You know, Dr. Siebert wants to fix things, so that you won't look so different." "OK," he said, "Wait a minute! How would he fix it? With SURGERY?" I nodded. "NOW?" he asked in a worried voice. "No, not now...maybe in the summer." I reassured him. "Ohhhh...how about in TWO summers?" he said with a slight grin. Gotta love this kid!
A friend remarked the other day," People will say 'Kids don't have filters' or 'kids will be kids, etc...' A child at school must control themselves physically: if they hit, push, etc...they'll be sent to the office and a note will be sent home. Why can't they be taught or disciplined when they hurt others with their tongue (words?) It truly can do more damage than any push or shove can."
I agree with this...Kids should be taught that if you don't have something positive, kind or encouraging to say, then don't say anything at all. Hank knows this boy didn't say what he said to be cruel. But the damage is done, just the same. Maybe the reason kids do this, is because their parents do it too. Do we, as adults (me included) do the same thing? Do we point out other's flaws and shortcomings? To their face...or behind their back? Either way, words can hurt, they can scar...and the receiver of these words sometimes carry them for the rest of their lives. We should encourage each other and lift each other up with our words, not tear each other down.
I know Hank's road won't be easy...physically or emotionally. But his road would be a little less bumpy...if people would just let Hank...be Hank.