Sunday, September 16, 2007

Different Views


My husband continues to surprise me in enforcing how differently men and women see situations. I read him my last blog and he balked at the word "save" in reference to our son. He doesn't see my efforts on Thomas' behalf as a mission. He just sees it as how it is. Life.

It's funny that I have fought for my son for the past 7 years because that is what a parent should do. I've made it my mission in life to help my son. To protect him. To help him grow and learn. Again, what every parent should do. My husband just sees it as Thomas and no more than that. He doesn't attach the "mother bear" feelings that I do. He doesn't see every challenge as a fight as I do. He doesn't blow things out of proportion about Thomas as I do.

When it comes to Thomas, my reactions are larger than for Vanessa. Not because I love her less but I know that she is ok. She is strong. She is for want of a better word "normal". I feel pride for her and I feel enormous love for her. I would stand in front of a train for her. I would die for her with no questions asked. It's the every day things that are different. I don't hurt as much when she hurts. I don't get as angry when things happen to her. I don't react as largely when she ticks me off. I know she will get through this life and be whatever she wants to be. I know she will grow up and stand her ground and be a wonderful woman. There are no such certainties for Thomas. His whole life has been a struggle against the foods he eats, the clothes he wears, the chemicals I use to clean, the school work that over whelms him, the asthma that takes his breath away, the anaphylaxis that could kill him and the skin he used to rip open. He has never had it easy.

I think that is why I see my mission for Thomas in terms of saving him. I want to be forgiven for not getting him better quicker. I want to be forgiven for not putting in the time I could or should in helping his behaviours. I want to be forgiven for feeling resentful that these things have happened to my boy. So I crusade. I lash out. I fight. I want the world to know that my boy matters to me despite my failings of him. I want people to see how much I love him and to forgive me for not doing more. How odd of me.

I never looked at it in terms of me. I don't tend to be self centered that way. I do have the gift for introspection but usually about my behaviors for certain situations. I have always carried a load of guilt about my son. That I could have not eaten peanut butter while pregnant. That I should not have gone to Florida while pregnant and induced labor. That I wasn't taller for him to have more room and not squash his head. But I never thought in terms of forgiveness. Hmmm.

So once again, my husband inadvertently teaches me something about myself. He sees Thomas as Thomas. No more no less. He doesn't think all that much about Thomas' various diagnoses. He just accepts that Thomas is how Thomas is. I think about it all the time. I fight all the time. And now I see why. I have placed too much responsibility on my shoulders for the state of my son. I have placed too much importance on myself as for the state of my son. I have placed too little acceptance on the state of my son. Acceptance and forgiveness is what I need to fight for. Acceptance for what is and forgiveness for what I couldn't change.

Darn husbands. Making us think all the time. Maybe mothers everywhere should take a page out of the father of their children's books and stop over thinking it. Maybe look at it from their point of view. It does seem a much more simple way to be. Darn husbands. Who asked for their point of view anyway ?

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