Friday, July 9, 2010


I had a very humbling experience today. Landon had an appointment with the pediatric cardiologist. As some of you may know, when he was born he had a very small hole in the bottom of his heart. Apparently this is pretty common, as over 50% of children are born with it, and it closes on its own by the time they are 2 years old. Today's appointment was to confirm what the pediatrician suspected--that it is already closed. It was, and he is, in the doctor's words, perfect.

My humbling experience happened in the waiting room. I arrived early, allowing myself time to give Landon a bottle before his appointment. Brendan had his PSP and headphones, so he was good to go. Another mom with a baby and a 4 year old (both boys) was already there. I check in, then sit down and start to feed Landon. Then this exchange happened:

Other Mom: Oh, does he take a bottle well?
Me (a little surprised and confused): Oh, yeah. He's a good eater.
Other Mom: That's great! (Nods to her baby in the carrier) He doesn't eat. He has a feeding tube.
Me: Oh, wow.
Other Mom: How old is your baby?
Me: 5 months.
Other Mom: My son is 7 months old.

I notice that Landon is significantly larger than this other baby. Granted, I have big boys, but we are talking serious differential in size.

Other Mom: Has he had to have any surgeries yet?
Me: Oh, no. He just had a tiny hole in his heart, which seems to be healing on its own. We are very blessed.
Other Mom: That is great. He has had 12 surgeries already.

About that time, her baby finished "eating" and she removed the feeding tube. Then I hear this horrible sound like the child can't breathe. She nonchalantly explains that he retches because he is unable to burp. He has GI problems, in addition to the 12 holes in his heart. Yes, 12 holes. My response again: Oh, wow.

I'm glad I didn't tell the woman I'm an English teacher with a Master's degree because my vocabulary was nonexistent today. I just looked at this woman and saw the life she is leading and was humbled. I thanked God for my 2 healthy little boys and said a prayer for this lady. Her attitude was amazing. She was upbeat and just like any other proud mama talking about her kids with another mom. I admired her strength, and wish we had gotten to talk longer. Maybe I would have been able to say something more inspiring than "Oh, wow." But then again, maybe she just needed someone to talk to at the moment. Who knows? I just know I have hugged my little boys a little tighter tonight, thankful for what I have but also wondering...why do some people have it so easy while others so hard?

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