Broken Kid Mentality

Our pediatrician said it best at Brooks’ 15-month check-up back in April.. “I know, it’s hard to not think the worst. I mean you have this “broken child,” this “sick kid,” and it’s hard to change the mindset with the trauma that you’ve been experienced.”

WHOA. I haven’t been stopped in my tracks that fast in a while. God was speaking to me through this man.

I am all the time questioning and second guessing myself. “OMG, my child just picked up a stick! OH NO! NOW MULCH?! AHHHHHH! DO NOT PUT THAT NEAR YOUR MOUTH OR NOSE!”

Okay, no parent wants their kid eating sticks, mulch, grass, dirt, what-be-it. But hey, kids will be kids, and as we all with children usually grow accustom to, “A little dirt never hurt!” For us, all I see when he picks these items up is an added 30-45 minutes to our morning and nightly breathing treatment routines, countless more hours on the phone with the special pharmacies, holding my child down for more throat swabs, and Heaven forbid that didn’t take care of it, another hospital admission. It’s exhausting. And that’s scratching the surface. There are days I wish I could stay home and protect him from the world. No daycare, I’m watching every move, I’m cleaning constantly, but that is no way to let a kid live…disease or not. We vowed from day 1 to let Brooks live as normal of a life as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I mom-shame myself constantly based on what I think other CF parents are doing that we aren’t, or that thought of, “What will be the *thing* that puts him in the hospital again?”

Broken Kid Mentality…that’s the new title for it. Be cautious, but let the kid live.

That day, in that exam room with the doctor, my feelings and thoughts were 110% validated by his one statement. I’ve never felt more heard without having to say a word. It was refreshing. It was nice to know I’m not 100% crazy. People can try and sympathize all day with the caregiver of a sick child, but when it comes down to it, it’s just that… sympathy. Until you’ve walked the walk, you really have no idea. I don’t blame others though. It’s not their fault they don’t know, and frankly, I’m glad that MANY others don’t have to know these feelings. That’s what brings richness to my child’s life…those around him that can sympathize with him, but don’t have any idea. Those that treat him as if nothing is wrong. They love him, teach him, and grow him to be just another one of the gang. Not “the broken kid.”


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