I genuinely appreciate when people ask me questions about my children. They are both pretty awesome people with big personalities! Of course people who are asking about our daughter ask us about infertility and IVF. Those that ask about Braden are curious about adoption and his condition. The other day I was asked very straightforwardly, “Does he know?” Ummmm, no.
No my child does not know that one day he will need a wheelchair. He does have books that have children with different physical needs and some about children with emotional needs and challenges. We make an effort to educate him. We have to use the handicap stall in public restrooms because he has a hard time getting his pants up and down, sometimes even standing at the toilet is an issue, and in general needs some help. We point out the handles and their use. We talk about these things, but how on Earth would you explain to a child that he will be in a wheelchair? In our world, we don’t. Not until we have to.
No, my child does not know the extent of his condition. He does not know that his buffet of medications are to stick around permanently. He does not know that he has a terminal condition. There is no way he would be made aware of such things. In fact, in this house we operate under the assumption that he will one day get married and have kids of. We have to. It would be horrible to only refer to his sister’s future! Even if we know differently.
In fact, all my child knows is that he is an awesome kid! He knows that his legs don’t always work the way he wants them to, and talking is tricky. We are not denying him knowledge. His is only three, ok, almost four. The fact is that the world can be a cruel place, and we want to show him all that is beautiful, sweet, and kind in it. We want to help him gain enough confidence to take on the school bully that he will inevitably encounter. So, for now he does not know. I cherish every day that he does not. Please let him stay sheltered from this for just a little bit longer. My heart can only handle so much pain.
As a side note, we are going to start physical and occupational therapy at school with Braden. He currently only has speech. I think when your kid needs that much therapy, they should throw in some free therapy for their parents as well! 😀
Enjoy your day!