The art of talking about your child

Oftentimes, people who don’t Max that well—coworkers, neighbors, acquaintances—ask questions about him. I’ve mastered the art of the succinct, upbeat response. Here’s how it usually goes:

They say: “How is Max doing?”

I say: “Well! He’s really coming along.”

What I really mean: He amazes us each and every single day because he’s doing so much better that those God-awful, naysaying doctors at the hospital ever thought he would. He still has a lot of challenges, though. Did you know he has cerebral palsy? But he is making progress. It may not be leaps-and-bounds progress but it’s steady, and that’s all that matters.


They say: “Is he talking yet?”

I say: “He has some words! He’s making progress.”

What I really mean: He has some words and he’s trying his best. But I dislike it when you use the word “yet.” There is no race to the finish line—he is never going to talk the way you or I do. But he is talking and communicating in his own way, and that’s pretty amazing.


They say: “He is such a happy child!”

I say: “Thanks! He is!”

What I really mean: He’s basically cheerful but like any kid, he gets frustrated at times. Kids with disabilities have multidimensional personalities, too.


They say: “Life must be a little stressful for you and your husband.”

I say: “We balance each other out.”

What I really mean: Um, duh? Of course having a kid with disabilities puts added tension on a marriage. We’re doing the best we can, some days, better than others. And how are you and your husband doing?


They say: “Max is so handsome.”

I say: “Yes, he is! Thank you.”

What I really mean: “Yes, he is! Thank you.” 


Ellen blogs daily over at To The Max.



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