Monday, April 11, 2011

Keep on Starin'

The first orthopedic doctor we saw said he "might not be much of a walker." Actually, the first prediction made by a doctor about him was "mental retardation, heart problems, and die before age 1." Turns out he is very intelligent; has a "normal, healthy heart," according to the cardiologist; and of course did survive, and is actually thriving. My husband told me that in the early days, when Jordan was in the NICU and I was still in the hospital as well, he would drive the lonely drive to visit Jordan and would see kids playing on the playground. He wondered if our son would ever be able to do that. Now he is in first grade, climbs the playground equipment using his arms, and is even on a baseball team and soccer team.

I have heard kids say quietly to a parent, "I feel sorry for him" when they see him walking with his crutches. I've heard people ask, "What's wrong with him?" One woman I know said it must be a "bummer" to have to use crutches. Every time we go out, people stare at him. They make jokes about "slow down there. You don't want to get a ticket!" Sooo hilarious. But to us, when they said he wouldn't even survive, two neon green crutches aren't a big deal. They are WONDERFUL. They enable him to play with friends, get places, do what he wants to do.

This is the main thing people don't understand unless they've been through it--this is GOOD, not bad. He is here, and he is living a wonderful life. To someone in this world, this is obvious; to someone not in it, they just don't get it. And I am sick of staring back at people with a menacing look, tired of ignoring their questions or letting them ruin my entire day. So look all you want, make all the jokes you want, but you won't get it until it happens to you.