You know those emails you sign up for when your pregnant. The ones that tell you each week that your baby is the size of a particular fruit or vegetable? Well, they keep coming after your child is born, alerting you to all the milestones your child is hitting. They are great, until your child isn’t hitting those milestones.
I’m competitive by nature. I have to win at everything…. which is hilarious because if you watched even 5 seconds of me playing a sport in my younger years you’d know I lose A LOT. Typically this beautiful piece of my character comes out while driving as I race random people from stop lights. It also appears while cooking when I need my food to look better than your food. Do I sound like a 7 year old yet? Well, this craziness also appears with my children. I want them to be successful in everything, never feeling the pain of being second (flash forward 10 years from now when some coach somewhere will tell me not to come to anymore games!).
Ford was always that kid. He knew his colors so fast, he ate with utensils super early,he started walking early…basically he was a child genius:) In all honesty, he has always just been a fast learner and I pray that continues. Now, enter Pierce. Pierce lost a good 9-10 weeks of development in a very important time frame. Kids his age were mastering walking, talking, being able to identify their nose, etc. when he got sick. He lost a ton of weight and was very rarely at school interacting with teachers or other kids. He’s behind those stupid email milestones. And it breaks my heart daily.
I know it shouldn’t matter. I shouldn’t get upset when I see kids around the same age walking perfectly, talking, looking older than Pierce. But, I’ll admit it. I do. It doesn’t help that apps like Timehop remind me daily of pictures of Ford at this age…he was walking and wearing 18-24 month clothes. 18 month shorts have to be rolled up at the top to stay up on my skinny little guy. People constantly ask “is he walking?”, “what has he learned today?”. Others will say “oh, don’t worry, kids all develop differently”. But, when he just crawls across the floor at school around all the other kids who are walking, I feel the eyes of parents and teachers on me. When someone posts a picture of Facebook of their child who is the same age…and she is dancing or he is walking to his dad, I break inside. “Why can’t Pierce do that?” and “Just hurry up and learn” secretly rush through my brain.
These are all such selfish thoughts, I know.
The blessing is that he has no idea. He doesn’t have some mental scorecard saying he’s behind. He is just thrilled his joints don’t hurt anymore, that he can eat without vomiting and he can go to school daily. So I have to quiet my crazy. I have to do my best to hide my stress. I remind myself daily that there are far worse situations in this world and that we are blessed with a diagnosis we can control. But it is still painful. It’s still sad sometimes.
Celiac disease will always make him different. Friends will want to go to a fast food restaurant and he won’t be able to eat. He will be limited on what he can eat at birthday parties. Hilariously enough I met a woman whose son with Celiac had to break up with his girlfriend because kissing her was making him sick! I don’t want to watch him not only struggle with Celiac, but also being behind in learning and development. So, for now, I quiet my crazy with cookies (Wow! Baking Company’s Lemon Burst cookies are AMAZING!). Soon I’ll quiet my crazy shopping for new pants. And one day down the road, when Pierce is walking next to me, my crazy will be silenced….or will have at least shifted to trying to beat you off the stop light.