Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The brighter side of life

I've been doing some thinking the last couple of days about how much attention some of the negative websites, videos, etc. have received recently. It has made me think a lot about how we as the parents of little people have so much to think about, and so many choices to make. I know being the mother of Kaela I started worrying about if she would ever go to the prom, if she would be made fun of, if she would ever find true love, before she was even born. I think this is a natural reaction when we hear that there is going to be something different about our child whether it be dwarfism or something else. We worry about how our children will be accepted when they have an obvious difference. It's our job as parents to protect our children and worry about them, but I feel like there is too much attention to the negative parts of life. The fact is we all are going to have moments in life that cause us to feel different or times when someone makes fun of us. Of course some people, maybe including our children, will have more moments then others, but I worry about all the attention this negative publicity gets. I feel like these ignorant people are getting exactly what they want: attention. We go look at their websites or react to their comments and they win. What are we getting out of it other then getting angry and defensive? It's a natural reaction of course, but it makes me wonder if it's really what is best for us as parents and for our children. I know I'm writing something that not everyone is going to agree with, and I'm okay with that. I think we all have the right to do what we want in our lives and I am completely open to that. We are a very accepting family and don't really judge peoples opinions or decisions. I am simply putting my thoughts and feelings down here (with the help of Matt, because I believe we agree a lot on this issue). I think that it's more important to focus on the positive things and what our children can and will do. To look at all these wonderful options they have in this big scary world and how with parents like all of us they will get exactly what they want. I want Kaela to always focus on the positive things. I want her to know that yeah, there are some ignorant people out there who write stupid things or say stupid things, but there are also some wonderful people out there that she will meet in her life who will love her and admire her. Again, it's natural to worry about our children who are 'different' from our other children, but the truth is, our 'average' children may have an even harder time in life. We just don't know when it comes to our kids. I have some friends and acquaintances who have children with autism, down syndrome, and other disabilities that affect their child's cognitive skills and I am so thankful every day that Kaela's just going to be little. Sure she will go through some surgeries, sure she will feel some pain and discomfort, but all in all, I think she will be okay. She will be able to go out in the world on her own one day, she will (of course following the path of mommy and daddy) go to college, get a job doing something she loves, and choose a life for herself. There are limitations for her in terms of what she can reach or sports she can play but it's okay if she needs to use a step stool to wash her hands. I guess what it comes down to in my thought process is that I wish there was more focus on the positive things and less on the negative. I think our children (all of our children) are just beautiful little beings. They learn from us and will grow learning things from us. We have made a choice as a family to teach Kaela and Will that regardless of any obstacles in their way, they can obtain any goal they set. We don't choose to just tell them this, we believe this. We look at them as equals because they are. They are both people first and for most. They deserve to be treated like they are people and will hopefully grow to love others and most importantly be happy. I know that the more negative things I read about dwarfism or Metatropic Dysplasia more specifically the more depressed I would become. Of course I still have to read things in order to learn and be a better parent and advocate for Kaela, but I take everything I read with a grain of salt. I know that she is a beautiful little girl inside and out. I know that Will is a handsome little man inside and out. I know Will at the age of 2 has a great sense of humor and that he is truly one of the most compassionate people I have ever known. I know that Kaela is already a sassy little girl who will handle herself just fine whether she is 3 feet tall or 5 feet tall. I know that both Kaela and Will can give you a smile that will melt your heart..and probably get them that toy or candy they are begging for :) My hope by writing this is to encourage all of you to either write a post or leave a comment with some positive things about your child just the way he or she is. Even the little things matter. I can say that these short chubby little legs Kaela has are the cutest darn legs I've ever seen. Sure they are short, but they sure are cute :) Some of us have surgeries coming up, doctors appointments, illnesses, etc., and it makes things much easier to think of how much it stinks that our children have to go through this....but I really feel like Kaela is so lucky at the same time. Sure she will have her ups and downs and sure, so will we, but hopefully by avoiding negative people (as much as possible) we can minimize the hurt. These ignorant people out there want attention, and I don't want to give it to them. We are so lucky to have the children we have and I am so thankful for both of my children. They have taught me so much and I know having Kaela in our lives, we as a family, will be able to teach so many others. To think that she could change one persons view of little people or anyone with any kind of difference is really the greatest gift and more then anything I could have ever done had I never had her. I think that's a pretty big positive :)
I'm writing this a day later because I felt like I needed to add something. I, in no way, am impling that we should not educate people or stand up for our children or friends when something is said. I hope that this was understood :) I just think it's also important to not give attention where it is not needed..again, just my opinions here.

I wanted to share the pictures of Kaela and Will with the gifts grandma brought back from Texas while visiting Aunt Rachie. Will's cute vest from The Alamo and Kaela's little dress :) How cute!

15 comments:

BRYAN said...

Both Kaela and Will will have a great life, because they have great parents. Great post...everyone has issues, its what we make of them and how we project ourselves to the world that makes us happy or not.

Candi
Bryan's YaYa

Charmaine said...

I agree with everything you wrote, I think we are doing a great job as moms of VERY special kids, My mother always told me if people deliberately go out of their way to hurt others, it because they long to have what you have and probably lead very sad, hateful lonely lives, and they will just keep on hurting others to make their empty feed their empty souls. So I just carry on living life and I just wish that on day those lonely souls get to experience life, love, family and friends like we do, I think we are a splendid team of blogging moms with the most beautifully happy babies in the world!!!

How Life Is Measured said...

Sarah and Matt,
I agree too! (Crap! I wish I would have read this before I wrote my last post!). We can't control what people say, but we can control our reactions to it. If Owen's personality now is any indicator of how he will handle his differences, he will be just fine. He is a strong, independant, hilarious little boy. Great way to bring things back to perspective! Love the blue! A shout out to Will?
Cat

Anonymous said...

Great post guys! I agree totally, and as a parent it is one of the toughest jobs one can face. You only have one shot at this job, and a short amount of time to do it in, and be a success. Hats off to you for doing it so well. They both look so happy and healthy. I have one of the pics of Kaela on my work computer and the comments I get about how cute she is and look at those eyes!! Take care, and keep up the posts. Love you guys. Koneta

Lisa said...

Yes, I think this is a very important issue. Now that Liz is starting to understand people's comments, my reaction is VERY VERY important. Because she takes her cues from me. If I get upset, she won't understand why, and it won't help the situation.
Lisa

Rachliedel said...

I think that my niece and nephew are really lucky to have you and Matt. There isn't one thing that you've done that I think could have been done in a better way! I love you guys and I love the pics of Kaela and Will in their little outfits!!! HOW CUTE!

Jennifer said...

Sarah and Matt I love your positiveness (word??)You have gorgeous children and they are/will be just as beautiful inside as they are outside because they have such a great example.

Tonya said...

People will be people. That is why Kaela and Will were gifted to such a great family!! Can't wait to meet you guys!

Katie said...

I always try to look on the brighter side of life...sometimes it's nice to get a little reminder! Life is good! We all have our beautiful, happy,expensive (hehe...sorry, just got another medical bill) outgoing wonderful little human beings!! I love every moment of being a mom to such a special person!

Kim said...

Remember when we all get down that we were chosen to be their parents! Only one in___ (fill in your child's dysplasis statistic here) can get so lucky to be this child's parent.
Besides, our kids rock and are so cute who can not love them?
Great post and great pictures!

Jaime M said...

Sarah, thanks for the comment let on my blog, please feel free to add a link to my blog. Is there a way on here to just send you an email? I would like to have just left you a message rather than comment on a blog when my comment has nothing to do with what you posted. I hope that that made sense. My email address is posted on my blog, feel free to email me anytime too!

Anonymous said...

The kids look so HAPPY ...and of course adorable in their "Texas clothes". Hope to see you all soon. Love Aunt Shell p.s. I bet Grandma tried to stuff a pony in her suitcase for them too!!!

MISTY said...

I love you guys! I wish we lived closer! They look cute in their new clothes!! And Kaela has the most gorgeous blue eyes EVER!!! When will she be having surgery? Soon?? Let me know! I would love to be there for you! Miss you!

Catie said...

Great post Sarah! It was so great meeting you yesterday. Kaela is so adorable! (Will is a cutie too, but he was a busy boy that I didn't see much of!) Thanks for reminding us to look at the positives.

Catie said...

Sorry, I just saw your comment! I do not mind if you link me.