Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to accept your child's shortcomings

Sometimes I have these bad thoughts that I wish would go away.  Like when I compare my kids to other kids.  It doesn't happen often, because I see that kids are usually good at somethings and slow at others and it ends up balancing out.  I'm all about balance.  But, then sometimes I get pangs of concern.  Like last night when I picked Kaio up from daycare and his friend was there who was only born a week before him.  Sidhan started showing me his V-Tech camera that he brought for show and tell and using it to take pictures.  He was using full sentences and looking at me, patiently reacting to what I was saying, and studying the buttons on his camera with interest and understanding.  He seemed a year more mature than Kaio, who rarely ever stops playing with his trains and just moving them back and forth on the floor in between jumping off of things and spazzing out.  His vocabulary consists of things that go, "Motorcycle-Airplane" and catch phrases from movies.  Like, we've been working on saying "the princess is in the highest room in the tallest tower."  It usually comes out as "Princess is in the tallest room tallest tower."  It is super cute.
So i've been worried that he is slllloooowwww and I just want to knock those thoughts out of my head.  I should love him unconditionally and not be concerned with his intelligence.  But, then don't parents always want the best for their kids and want their kids to excel.  Maybe I'm so worried about it because my parents pushed me to be the best.  I have a competitive spirit and it's hard for me to understand that it is ok not to be perfect.  I do understand that everyone is different and everyone is really good at something and less good at others.  So I wish I could just get those ugly thoughts out of my head, the 'Kaio is not smart' thoughts, becuase it is really premature to conclude that and why does it even matter anyway.  
The wonderful woman who owns Kaio's daycare has one daughter who is mentally disabled.  She is 16 or so and really sweet, but her face is slightly malformed and she is very tired and socially absent. I am not sure exactly what diagnosis she has but I will ask.  When I first got to know the family I felt sympathy for the woman because I imagined that it must be difficult to work with children and love children and see so many happy and healthy children all day long, while your only child has so many difficulties learning and socializing.  I wondered why she did not have more children (as if kids are like apples and the more you have the more likely you will get a crispy one).  Well Mariano was practically disgusted with my preoccupation with her daughter and pointed out that I can't assume that there is anything wrong with their situation.  I guess I was bothered because she is such a wonderful woman and I hated to think that bad things happen to good people.  But, really, who am I to say that having a disabled child is a source of pain or shame.  I know that it is difficult because the children need much more support throughout their life.  But, the kids are still filled with life, love, and light, unique and worth every minute.  So I went and rented What's Eating Gilbert Grape, a wonderful movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and a 400lb woman.  
This whole topic is taboo and just me saying these things out loud will probably result in some bad karma.  I will probably regret it and go back and delete this post later - especially once Kaio gets old enough to read.  Or if I forget then maybe this will come back to bite me.  OR maybe he'll be a Rhodes Scholar and we will be laughing about this post in the future "look my mom thought I was retarded when I was a kid. lol" My mom sometimes jokes that she used to think my brother was "retarded", so maybe Kaio takes after Uncle M.

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