Sunday, July 09, 2006
Meet Brady: You'll Fall in Love!
Well, we're reeling from a GREAT Saturday night... Michael and I went to the American Idols concert. Yes, I can't believe an almost-8-year-old went to a concert, but it was AWESOME!! We rocked out listening to the CD on the way there, and after got dessert at the 99 Restaurant. He crashed of course three minutes into the drive home. He was very popular amongst our section - a group of mothers sat behind us and next to him was a 30-something girl and her husband/boyfriend. She danced with Michael a lot, as the women in back kept asking him who his favorite Idol was and engaging in conversation with him. I was very lucky to sit next to such a popular guy!
Which coincidentally is what I was thinking about with Brady. I notice this with other parents and what they say about their kids who have WS. It seems that the kids are particularly more endearing to strangers, they seem to melt everyone's heart when they meet. Brady definitely has plenty of guardian angels out there. I think it is only natural when you hear of a little one going through so many problems as he has, that people are drawn to them.
During the school year, I volunteered a lot at the elementary school. Of course, Brady came with me. He was VERY popular! The kids were all enthralled with him. (Funny, the little boys were more interested than the girls... always wanting to see him and ask about him. Maybe we have some sensitive souls out here in Massachusetts!) The teachers always stopped to talk to him, and the secretary was definitely a fan. It made me feel so good to know that people are out there looking out for him.
I wonder what he'll be like as he gets older... if he'll have the qualities that a lot of WS kids have, that overly-friendly, social personality. Michael is already the Social Chairperson, I can't imagine Brady being more than him! But Michael knows when to reel it in, too. I wonder if we'll be constantly trying to teach Brady to not be as trusting or... wait a minute. This is insane. I think like this then realize this is no different than what I think about Michael, who doesn't have WS. I wonder if he'll grow up happy, if he will be successful in his life, if he will fall in love with the best person for him, if he will marry, have children, if he'll move far away from home, if he outlives me. Just like every other mother with their son.
Yes, we have challenges. Yes, Brady has a heart condition. Michael has a peanut allergy. Someone's daughter has diabetes. Someone's son has dyslexia. Someone's daughter has an eating disorder. Someone's son has ADD. Don't we all have challenges? Don't we still worry even for our children who don't have delays?
People tell me I have a great outlook with Brady... that I have a good attitude and they marvel in how well I'm "doing". Yes, I have my moments. Yes, I am waiting for a smile from Brady that "should" have come six months ago. With Michael, I worried when he was a year old and we found out about his peanut allergy. (I also worried when he fell down the stairs, but that is for another entry!)
I am not trying to diminish the seriousness of WS; it makes for many challenges, some I'm sure I don't even know about yet. I know the biggest challenges are to come when we know how WS has affected Brady, when we know where his weaknesses lie. But, seriously, don't we all know adults who haven't lived to their fullest potential - who seem to be sliding around life without any focus.. who not only don't know want they want, but they don't seem to care about getting there? If I was a mother of one of those children, I would worry. Yes, I worry about Brady's life and the quality that it is, but I also worry about Michael's life. You know, it's not just something to say to make us feel better - mothers of kids with WS are really no different than other mothers. We just need to focus on different things.
P.S. Yes, the picture above LOOKS like he's getting close to that smile! I cna't wait to post some pics of that day!