Sunday, July 5, 2009


At the annual 4th of July party that we attend, I was excited to see a couple other babies in attendance. I put Jacob on my hip and began to approach a man holding his baby girl.

"Hold old is your baby?" I asked.
"Ten months old." he said.
"My baby is ten months old too!" I said excitedly.

But my enthusiasm was cut off when I looked down at the girl and noticed something was wrong. She couldn't hold her head up yet. Her hands were clenched tighlty as her side and see seemed so fragile. It didn't take long at all to notice the striking disparities between the baby girl and my super active, hefty Jacob. I immediatetly felt bad for comparing the two.

"We don't know what's wrong with her but her brain stopped developing." The man told me. He looked at Jacob sadly. "We've been trying to figure out what a normal ten month old looks like."

His words tugged at my heart and I looked at his beautiful little daughter. I realized how horrible it must be to go through having a baby with an undiagnosed medical condition. How hard it must be to not see your baby developing at the same rate as other babies.

"Does your son reach out and grab objects? Does he eat solids yet? How many teeth does he have?"

I described a little about Jacob's recent developments and the man looked concerned.

"My daughter doesn't try to grab things. The muscles in her hands don't unclench."

I told the man how beautiful and precious his daughter was. I felt bad for approaching him with Jacob and displaying the differences between our children. I really cannot imagine what he and his wife are going through. But it seriously breaks my heart. It breaks my heart that a child could be born with a health condition and it breaks my heart that her parents don't get to experience the crazy joy that comes along with witnessing your child do fun new things

I'm so lucky to have Jacob. I always know it deep down but sometimes I need to be reminded just how lucky I am.


Butterflyfish said...

Oh man. Thanks for the reminder. I too am blessed. I hope the couple gets some help for the child and that early intervention helps her.

Anonymous said...

You are indeed blessed. However, so are they. It might take time for them to see it, but most [good] parent come to accept and embrace their child's flaws and disabilities. They will see her for what she can do instead of for what she cannot do. And I'm sure they will use their resources to diagnose and help their daughter.


Proto Attorney said...

It's really tough to have a child with developmental issues, I can only imagine how hard it would be to deal with that coupled with not even knowing why or what to expect in the future. I have a friend whose son was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome, and it's been tough for them, mostly because their child and their experience as parents isn't what they had expected, and letting go of that specific dream is tough. While they have bad days, and always will, they know they have a beautiful son who, even though he'll have challenges ahead of him, will have a wonderful life regardless.

Shelley said...

Wow. How difficult and awkward - but you did a good job putting everything in a positive light. And it sounds like it must have been good for them to be able to bounce questions off of you.

I can't imagine how hard that must be for the parents, though.

FSD said...

How sad. :-(