Monday, September 01, 2008

Weekend of Wii

I should be embarrassed to admit that my family spent the majority of the weekend in front of one TV or another playing Wii and various other video games. But because I don't claim to be Super Mom, I have no shame. It was a relaxing weekend spent with family and friends. I almost went into the office today. It was a bit of a mental tug-o-war deciding "should I go", "No, I don't want to go". My sensible self prevailed and I spent the day with my kids and visiting with my sister.

Weekend in pictures


On a completely different note, I've been extremely bothered since reading the blog of my cyber-friend Jen, mom of Faith - who is vent dependent. I hope Jen doesn't mind me sharing my thoughts on this subject.

Faith spent the first year of her life, and then some, in the hospital and she finally made it home in April. Jen and her husband are school teachers and to earn some extra money, Jen recently posted that she has been babysitting two little kids in the evenings while their parents work. Caring for two "typical" little kids, it was only natural for Jen to notice the difference developmentally between her daughter and the kids she was babysitting. Jen wrote about how difficult it was to see how delayed Faith was and how sad it was for her to realize how Faith (and she and her husband) have been cheated from experiencing the "normal" baby/toddler experiences. Apparently Jen's post offended some people. In Jen's words:

I feel as though I offended some people with my last post. My apologies if I came across pessimistic and self-absorbed. It was never my intention to make those of you who do not have a sick child feel bad. It is only human to think about the grass on the other side of the fence from time to time

The fact that Jen felt that she needed to apologize for expressing her feelings of loss and sadness really upset me. Here is what I shared with Jen and I share here with all of you:

Jen -
I too have been told, in essence, to"Cowboy up" because it's not that bad, or it could be worse. As if we don't know that. As if we haven't spent enough time in a NICU/PICU, around sick and dying children. Yes, we are fully aware it could be worse and that there are many other families in this world who are facing their own challenges. However, that does not negate our right to be sad, to be mad and to wish 'til our dying day that it was better. We are not selfish, self-centered, ungrateful people. We love our children more than life itself and we will go to the ends of the earth to do right by them. But we are entitled to acknowledge our loss. I have three healthy children, but that doesn't make the fact that Jack is not healthy okay. I'm just as entitled to four healthy, typical kids as any other mom. It really makes me mad that someone would make you feel guilty for feeling sad, for feeling a loss and for articulating it.

Yes, we all have our hardships and burdens to bear in this world. However, when someone shares that they are having a rough time of it, please don't remind them of how much worse it could be or tell them how "lucky" they are. It's so important for people to realize that in spite of the facade of being strong and handling things well, parents of kids with special/medical needs occasionally need validation, a pat on the back, an ear to bend, and a shoulder to lean on. These special parents need friends and family who will simply listen with an open heart and without judgment.

As you can tell, I feel very protective of my fellow sorority sisters. Thank you for listening to my rant.

And on a final note .... I just realized I've been blogging for over 2 years. Holy Canoli. Who knew I had so much to say!


Julie W said...

Glad you got some family time, Ann. James got a Wii for his birthday - I love the boxing - it really helps work out those pent up frustrations!
And Jen NEVER needs to apologise for ANYTHING! This life is hard, and it sucks, but most days we just grin and bear it and keep putting one foot in front of the other. well said Ann ((((HUGS))))

Rachel Marini said...

Amen Ann!!!! You say it so well!!! I haven't that blog entry of Jen's yet but am headed over to her blog now... I agree with everything you said regarding the subject though.
We're in this together

Melisande said...

Well, 2 years flew by woman! You do have a lot of wonderful things to say!! xo

More power to ya', Sista!

Faith said...

I haven't been on the computer since my last post- I've been a little sad...a little defeated... Tonight I decided to check things out again and was pleasantly refreshed and revived.

Your message meant so much to me and Brian, and I know it will to Faith (someday).

Thank you so much for supporting and empowering me. After that last post I not only received some weird comments but an e-mail detailing how I am too negative about Faith (BLAH!). This isn't the first time I've received criticism for writing about how I feel- this was just the straw the broke the camels back. It really made me want to stop blogging, stop talking, and stop feeling.

We have no idea what we are doing. Just making it through the day is a success in our books.

Call us cliché but I don’t think we could do this without your support. A few months ago when Brian and I were just having a sad moment thinking about the future Brian said, “I just keep holding onto what Jack’s mom said about creating new dreams…that’s all that’s holding me together” Thank you for helping us create those new dreams, and reminding us that they are OURS and no one else’s! It’s nice to know that whatever we face someone’s got our back!
Lots of Love,
Jen & Co.

Anonymous said...

It looks like you had a fun weekend of Wii! I like the new pictures. I completely agree with your advice to Jen. There is nothing to apologize for. We are human. One day at a time is all anyone can ask for. Thanks for sharing her story.

Sarah said...

Ann, you are a woman of wisdom and inspiration. Hugs to you and Jen as well.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this post made me cry. I know I have it so much better than so many others, that I really try not to be negative. That was a beautiful post and I appreciated reading it.


Charity said...

Total agrement here Ann! VERY WELL SAID! So many have no idea looking from the outside- and need to be reminded they are clueless! Thank you for putting thoughts we've all had into perfect words!