I haven’t had internet access since January so I’ve been posting to my Facebook account instead. I’m going to try a different posting method, let’s see if this works.
Posted to my Facebook account 23 May 2014…
Lessons for my Son:
Lately, he’s been asking me a lot of questions about my body and mind, and about what’s happened to me. Amazingly, he seems more interested in how it makes me feel inside. This morning is one of those mornings.
We talk about my eyes and brain, for instance. He knows Daddy can’t read chapter books like he and Mama can. He has noticed that I can only read short books, and books with few words and big letters. He notices how Daddy gets weak or sometimes can’t do what I was able to do the day before or even hours before. He asks if I get frustrated, he’s asked if it makes me sad that I can’t do a lot of the things I used to or do the things I want to, when I want.
I want to be open and honest with my Son. I think that’s one of the most important things I can do as a Man – he will know the real me. Not give him an unrealistic image of what a Man is and therefore not have unrealistic expectations of himself. If I have a hard time, I let him know. But I also show him what it is like to never ever give up, and to try my hardest. Every time, every day. Most important I want to show him how to hold his head high through it all.
But… I then explain how hard I try and even though yes, I do get sad sometimes for things I can no longer do, I cannot let that bother me. When those thoughts come, I must let them go just as quickly.
“Because Mijo, if I spent my energy on emotions that do not serve me, I will have already failed.”
I remind him of the earlier days when I couldn’t walk or move. Days when I couldn’t pick him up or even tickle him. And as for reading, I remind him that there was a time a few short years ago when I could only read him books meant for infants.
“Point is Mijo, I’ve come a long way. And sure, its frustrating to Daddy when I have to stop reading the book before we finish. Wouldn’t you feel sad I you couldn’t read your little boy a book?”
“Yea dad, that’d make me feel sad for sure.”
“But Mijo, what if instead you think of how far you’ve come? Things you could do now that you couldn’t before?”
“Id feel good Dad.”
“Exactly. And unless I continue to try to do things that I cannot do, or try things that are ‘too hard’, Id never get better. Always buddy, always try. Even if you’re sure you can’t. Try, but start with the belief that you can. That is where most fail. Whether you think you can, or think you cannot: You’re always right.”
This is the conversation we had in bed this morning.
My little boy broke his collarbone on Monday. Watching him go through this has been painful as a Father, but heartwarming beyond measure as a Human Being. I see him try to do things he’s sure he cannot. Like removing clothes to go to the bathroom himsef now, or drawing with one hand, or getting on/off the couch. He’s finding ways to work with what he has, and he’s not sad about his pain and inabilities. Instead, my Son is proud of himself each time he ‘makes it work’.
I DID IT DAD!!!
The lack of tears is not what makes you strong my son. It is your heart, your inner fight. And you make me proud to be your Father. I love you Mijo.
Hopefully there’s something in here for you grown-ups…