I have a podcast I like to listen to. It’s for working mom’s who are “trying to do it all and then some.” The mom’s who run the podcast have two children each. Their kids are about the same age with the oldest being in 2nd or 3rd grade and youngest in kindergarten. Over the years they have dealt with some issues with their kids. One mom’s oldest boy has ADHD while the other mom’s oldest was just diagnosed with dyslexia.
Recently the one mom commented that just because someone may have it worse than you, it doesn’t make your troubles any less real to you. I couldn’t agree more. Regardless of our children’s challenges, it’s never easy for us. We love our kids and want the best for our kids. And yet, when your kid’s challenges are more difficult than someone else’s, it’s sometimes hard to listen to them vent about their troubles.
For instance, the mom who’s son was diagnosed with dyslexia talked about her fears of what was ahead for her son. She was sad that this was not something that could be cured. This was something he would have to live with for the rest of his life and he would have to learn ways to work around these challenges.
On one hand I heard her loud and clear and knew exactly how she felt, but on the other hand, I found it somewhat frustrating to listen to her. Her son is highly intelligent. The reason it took so long to diagnose him is because he is so smart. In the grand scheme of things, her son’s challenges were minimal to me. He could accomplish whatever he chose. He could look forward to marriage and children. He’d be able to drive. He’d live on his own without any need for assistance. He’ll be able to understand the concept of money. College is a very likely possibility. Friendship would not be a concern. No one would look at him and think, “what’s wrong with him” or be scared to talk to him.
True, my daughter has a bright future, too. However, although she has street smarts and great problem solving skills, she is intellectually challenged and learning will be difficult for her on many levels, not just reading. She may get married and most likely will have relationships, and although they will be fulfilling to her and in some ways more sweet and innocent, they won’t be like ours. She almost certainly will not have children of her own. It’s possible she could drive, but the odds aren’t in her favor. If she lives on her own, some level of assistance will probably be necessary. College is possible, but it will be a program accommodated for those with special needs. She will make friends, but there will still be those people that don’t get it and will dismiss her or be afraid of her.
By that same light however, some of you reading this are probably thinking I don’t have room to complain. My daughter is healthy. So far she has not had any of the medical complications that can come with Down syndrome. We have not endured leukemia. Her heart is strong. She is a social butterfly and a superstar at her school. Most kids want to be her friend.
My point? I don’t know. Sometimes it just helps to put what we are thinking down on paper so we can remember that we all have our challenges and we need to be understanding and accepting to others and their troubles regardless if they have it worse or easier than we do.