Heart of a Boy

As parents of a medically fragile child we have struggled to keep our son healthy and protected. We have handed his frail body over several times to surgeons. Allowed them to cut open his chest and change the structure and anatomy of his heart. He has been poked and prodded, medicated and bound to machines. We have watched him writhe in pain and cry in fear. There is, however, one area of raising a child with a CHD rarely discussed. Perhaps because as parents we are so grateful that we still have our babies we do not dare mention it. We know how precious life is and we have seen babies die. I too, have seen more death due to CHDs then I have any other disease. I know more children who have died then adults.  I am well aware that statistically my son should not be alive, that he should not have survived the first year of his life. He wakes up every morning with a smile on his face…

…and demands breakfast. He talks back and laughs at me when I scold him. The very thing I tell him not to do, he does. He teases the dog and sabotages his sister’s Minecraft World. He annoys his older brother and is the king of tattletales. He throws his dirty clothes all over the house and leaves wrappers on the floor. He refuses to do any summer reading and expects new toys every week. Our kitchen is his personal restaurant and he expects to be served his food in front of the TV.   He takes 20 minutes to put his pajamas on, yet can brush his teeth in under 10 seconds. He promises to be careful pushing the cart in the store and proceeds to crash into everything and everyone, I am almost certain he blocks out the sound of my voice entirely and he will befriend the worst behaved child in any given room.

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But…

…he stills sucks his two fingers while he sleeps, he will randomly say, “I love you”, he always asks his dad how his day was or how his business trip was, he idolizes his big brother and wants to be like him, he celebrates other people’s accomplishments as if they were his own, he laughs fully while watching silly movies, when he tells jokes he cannot give the punch line because he is already laughing so hard, he still likes to makes crafts and gives them to people, he often tries new things and is not afraid to approach new kids and ask them to play, he will listen to his favourite song over and over, he loves to buy gifts for people and loves to celebrate everybody’s birthday, he hates the sound of babies crying and loves to bake with his grandmother.

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Owen is a typical 7 year old boy, flaws and all. He may have some special needs, be medically fragile and have an uncertain future, but he is still just a little kid…just like any other little kid.

Laura

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