This is the story of Levi. Levi is by far the happiest baby of mine out of my three sons. I’ve never had such a content baby before. If all babies were like Levi, I would have a hundred more babies. It’s as simple as that, I love the happy and loving baby that Levi is. So maybe you’re wondering why I’m writing this post. Reason for this post is I want people to stop feeling bad for him. And now you’re probably wondering why people feel bad for him… and so do I.
There’s a few things about Levi health wise that could be considered bumps in the road. But we all have them, right? Does everyone feel bad for you when you get a giant pimple, or get a splinter, or when you have a minor surgery or diagnosed with a chronic disease … I doubt it. As adults and parents we cope and manage as best as we can. It’s the grown up thing to do. I’m aware there are some life changing health issues, but there are so many that just become part of your life and lifestyle and do not have to be crippling unless you make them to be. That is the case with little Levi.
In a nutshell, Levi is partially deaf on a mild to moderate level. No big deal, with modern science and technology he was blessed with hearing aids, the gift of baby signs and one hell of a support team behind him of educators and therapists! He also has Thyroid Hormone Resistance disease. If you are not familiar with this, in short it is a combination of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Statistically, it is found in one out of 50,000 people. So it’s not you’re everyday diagnosis, but it does exist. The thyroid hormone resistance can kind of be blamed for Levi’s developmental delay physically and mentally, and also this hearing loss. With these delays, doors have opened, appointments set and we have seen countless doctors and specialists who know their shit and want the best for Levi almost as much as I do. So, I’m not seeing where people get the idea that a pity party for these small bumps in the road is going to benefit him. So far, I’ve only seen the crazy amount of progress we’ve made thus far.
So let me touch on the pity party thing I hear from people when the topic of his health history comes up. “Oh, I feel so bad for him.” “Poor kid.” “Aww, that’s so sad.” “In my day, we never had all these problems that they have today.” The list goes on. As I’m pelted with these comments I can’t help but want to snap my fingers in the Z formation and get in their face about how the pity is very unhelpful and unnecessary. Yes, I’ve cried about test results, blood work and reading the death sentences given to him by Googling all these health issues… so I’ve coped and continue to cope with it as the punches roll. And the reason I don’t sit there and feel bad for Levi is because it is in no way beneficial to him. Feeling bad for someone or yourself gets you nowhere.
So what is beneficial for Levi or another delayed child? Everything that is beneficial for an “average” kid is beneficial for my delayed child, but perhaps at different stages in his life. Reading, singing, dancing, laughing, playing, and teaching them are all very important, physically beneficial activities to do with all children, they just be may be done differently with a delayed child. Just because he is delayed does not mean to throw all these activities back in your bag because he “can’t” do it. He CAN do it with the right amount of encouragement and guidance.
Mental and emotional development is another thing I want to touch on about how the pity parties are just not beneficial for Levi or other delayed children. We want our children to grow into independent beings which varies from childhood, to school age and up to adulthood. Pity parties starting at this young of an age is not going to help him grow into that self-confident and independent little human I’m aiming for as his mother. And what I’m scared all this pity will do is give the idea that everyone feels bad for him so maybe he can get away with doing the bare minimum through life. If someone always feels bad for him, who will challenge him, who will push his nose to the grindstone to do his absolute best? Who will hold him responsible for his actions and push him towards his goals? Who will boost his self-confidence and self-esteem to become a mature, independent young man? Me… I’m doing all the above by not throwing my child a pity party for every shortcoming he has. He’s going to stumble and have challenges, but Momma is right there behind him to pick him up and brush him off give him a nudge to get back on track.
I can’t feel bad for my child because he has health issues out of my control or his control. This is the body he was born into and he’s my little Levi I will always love as is. Yes, I cry when he cries getting blood work done. I feel the pain. Yes, the therapy and doctor appointments are time-consuming and exhausting, but I do it all for him and so do all his therapists and doctors. Yes, I agree sometimes the test requested by doctors are over the top, but if its beneficial for him, sign us up. We all have this common goal, and can probably all agree that we want Levi to become the best version of himself. And pity is not getting him there. So please, do not feel bad for my kid. He’s happy, healthy and loved as is.