Sunday, November 11, 2012

Science facts

"Hey, mom - did you know that most birth defects are caused by something the mom ate or did during pregnancy?"

I am helping him get his compression stocking on, something we do every day.  It's too tight for him to be able to do it himself, even though this week he will be twelve years old, and he is nearly as tall as I am, and weighs almost as much, too.  I have just pulled it up past his knee, and I'm looking at him as he is talking, smiling.  But I was caught off guard, and for the split second it took for me to register what he'd said, he saw my secret, the thing I've battled every day since he was born and we discovered that he had Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome.  The fear that it was my fault, that I had done something wrong, even though I've had specialists tell me it's just something that happens sometimes, just a quirk of nature brought about by a wrong turn on a strand of genetic material.

I recover as quickly as it registers, but I'm caught and he...he is mortified, horrified that he has hurt me.

"But I'm not blaming you, I just have K-T, and I was born that way and I wouldn't want to be any different!  I love you and I know you didn't do anything wrong, and I only think it's sometimes that it happens, maybe most of the time, but it doesn't MATTER because I LOVE who I am and I love YOU, and if I didn't have K-T I wouldn't be me..."  He is in danger of running out of air, and I stop him.

"Sweetheart - it's okay.  I know you were just telling me something interesting that you learned, and it's just science.  Sometimes even in science there are variables.  I know you aren't blaming me.  I love you just as you are, and I know you love me too.  Please don't worry, I'm okay."

We have a ritual after his stocking is on - we have a big hug.  Today's hug is tighter than normal, and lasts twice as long.

"Thanks for helping me with my stocking, mom.  I love you."

"You bet.  I love you too."