|Playing in the waiting area. He was exhausted...but still smiling!|
I'm always astounded by the children I encounter there. I'm astounded by the fact that most of the kids seem to be happy, smiling and unfazed by whatever illness or issue they face. My son is this way too. He's been poked and prodded more than any child I've ever known, yet he's quick with a smile, and is a big flirt.
|Finally fell asleep on Mommy while waiting for a chest x-ray.|
When I first got the diagnosis while still pregnant, it was heartbreaking. I worried how this would impact his self-esteem and ability to interact with other kids. I worried (and still do) that he'll be bullied on the playground or in other areas of his life.
Seeing all of the kids yesterday reminded me of two things: 1. It could be A LOT worse. We've been told over and over that if you had to choose an imperfection, this is the one you would pick. 2. It's up to me and his father to help him build his self-esteem, make him willing to teach the ignorant, and set him up to succeed. All of the kids I saw had a parent (or two) with them - encouraging, hugging, laughing. I can't do this for him, but I can be there with him every step of the way.
We embark on his second surgery next Thursday. While I'm more relaxed this time than I was for his first surgery, I'm still very nervous. I am still scared of the anesthesia. He'll be under general anesthesia for quite a while. There's always a chance something could go wrong.
I am upset that he'll be in so much pain. I realize this is in his best interest, but I desperately wish I could take the pain for him. I cannot explain to him what is happening, or prepare him for it in any way. I can only hold and love him until he's well again.
I worry that each of these procedures will chip away a little piece of his good-natured personality. I worry that the happy, smiling little guy I know will be a little less ready with a smile after this procedure, and a little less willing to trust that I'm doing what's best for him.
So next Thursday I will be there, praying, worrying and waiting until I can see him again. Then I will do the best I possibly can to make him feel better, or at the very least, very loved. And I will excitedly anticipate the first sign of a smile.