Happy Thursday everyone! Hope the last two weeks have gone well for everyone. We have been enjoying some sunshine the last few days. It has been a wonderful gift!
I’m just going to jump right in here. I had a whole blog about expectations/ unrealistic exceptions that I wanted to write but that just isn’t what is on my heart tonight. So bare with me as I divert here and share about an experience the boys and I had today.
The boys and I met my dad at a local bakery not far our house. If you live in West Michigan, you have probably heard about Marge’s Donut Den. It’s amazing, not just the donuts but the atmosphere itself. Very welcoming and full of life. Anyway, we were there in the afternoon, so it wasn’t very packed. We enjoyed our donuts and the boys started to wander the shop. Checking everything out and talking up the locals. As I followed behind them, I heard a gentleman bark . “What’s wrong with your face?” Declan happened to be directly by this man, so I went over and kindly told him that Declan had clearly devoured his donut and that was chocolate smudged everywhere. He frankly told me that it wasn’t this son of mine that he was referring to but rather Ollie.
I’m going to be real here. The mamma bear in me surfaced real fast as I kindly tried to explain how Ollie was born with a Lymphatic Malformation. The man couldn’t believe that we had let Ollie suffer for so long and told me to just find a plastic surgeon to take care of it. I tried my best to share with this man and finally opted to gather the boys and leave.
To be honest, I cried my way back home. How dare he talk to my son in such a way How can we live in such a world where malformations and birth defects are so prevalent and yet not have the tact to ask questions in a kind manner? I am all for answering questions and sharing about the bubbly kid I call my own. But I despise the rude and hurtful comments that fly out unchecked.
The world I want for Ollie is one that accepts him for who he is and not what he looks like on the surface. This is an unrealistic expectation and one that I battle every day but I will keep battling. I will keep telling my kid that he is smart, kind and handsome. I will not let simple minded people get in the way of my brave, confident little man.
That was a bit of a rant and I am sorry for that but it was something that I needed to get off of my chest. Writing is truly a way for my soul to heal. Honestly, Ollie and Declan are happy, outgoing souls that find joy where ever they go. As of right now, they aren’t bogged down with negativity or thought to be self- conscious. The negative people are few and far between but the after effects are still felt by this mamma.
We have found wonderful places to go that the boys can just be boys. One of those places is the Children’s Healing Center, in downtown Grand Rapids. It is a place where every child is affected with an illness or malformation or they have a sibling that is affected. We have loved getting to be a part of that community and the boys have learned so much.
So here is to choosing our words wisely. To realizing what unrealistic expectations are but never giving up hope. Keep enjoying the sunshine when it comes and embrace the negativity that is bound to pop up but never let it fester! Release it and move on! Thanks for letting me share this moment with all of you. Have a blessed two weeks!