No Apologies

I think by now, everyone who has ever known me knows that Owen’s story was shared on Minneapolis CBS news station, WCCO with this story.

I was thrilled about the exposure to Owen’s story because it’s so important that people understand that sometimes things as simple as eating are things that too many kids aren’t able to do.  Then today, I was catching up on some of the other blogs that I follow and I smiled when I saw this post from Parenting the ‘A’ Team.  It really hit home for me the significance of reporter, Rachel Slavik and WCCO featuring Owen’s story.  She/They got it!  They understood that these teeny steps, like swallowing a little puree for Thanksgiving, IS a big deal.

It took me back to when I was recently on a non-preemie blog and saw a comment from a reader that said something like, “I don’t understand why special needs parents think they need to tell us every. single. milestone!  I get it, their kid is different, but I shouldn’t have to do cartwheels for each step”  I was a little hurt by the comment – so hurt that I couldn’t find the words to respond (not a very common occurrence).

But, it did change my behavior.  I started apologizing when I’d celebrate Owen’s (and even, Kellen’s) successes.  Like in this post and, more subtly, this one too. I didn’t want to be that annoying parent, so some milestones, I didn’t even mention.

I’m frustrated with that woman, for not understanding.  But more, I’m frustrated with myself for letting her make me feel that I should change my behavior.

It doesn’t matter what need level your child is; as a parent, each milestone that a child puts hours and weeks and months into accomplishing IS worth mentioning and celebrating.  We live in a world that idolizes athletes and movie actors that are great because of the dedication that they put into their sport or craft.  Some people put just as much work into much less glamorous tasks like; eating and walking and talking.  It doesn’t matter the glitz of the prize, the work and effort and ultimately the accomplishment is what is celebrated.

Thank you, Gillette Children’s Specialty Clinics, for making it happen and Rachel and WCCO team for making a beautiful story that helped me and your viewers understand that sometimes seeming small steps are giant accomplishments worth sharing within the family and the community (even a major market).

I shared this picture already this week, but it’s too perfect, that I must share it again.

Once Tiny…Always Strong.