Parker lives to go outside. He hears a door open and off he goes hoping for an opportunity to venture yonder.
When my other two boys were little they too lived for going outside.
Must be a gentic thing.
So when the weather permits, we load up our Brave Hero and head out for great adventure.
With oxygen bottle and tubing in tow, Parker and I cruised the neighborhood this morning. Feeling especially brave, I decide to take Parker across the road near our home. We reach the cross walk and while saying a little prayer we step between the two white lines.
Not many in the state of Utah understand that the meaning of those two white lines is to stop and let the poor souls trying to cross do so.
Hence the need for a prayer before we step out.
We cruise and I point out different object to Parker. Houses. Trees. Clouds. Birds. Flowers.
Looking ahead I notice another Mom, also pushing a child in a stroller. This Mom makes her way over to greet me and Parker.
I’m pretty excited as I watch this Mom take in all the ‘stuff’ that is strapped to or hanging off of Parker’s stroller.
She looks at the oxygen bottle. Doesn’t faze her!
She notices the Parker’s trach. And takes it totally in stride!
Even the extra chromosome makes no difference as the new Mom introduces her son to Parker.
My heart is beginning to soar. A Mom who gets it. Who sees past the different and looks only at the cute little kid before her.
Then the Mom asks how old Parker is.
I can’t deny the fact that for a fleeting moment I thought about lying straight through my smile and cutting off a couple of years from Parker’s age.
But because I am an advocate who wants people to accept my child for who he is, I answer with the truth.
Parker’s four, I reply.
As I notice the new Mom’s eye’s widen I realize that this, a four year the same size as her 18 month old, screams different in a way that she notices.
I forget how big a four year old is supposed to be. That when my other sons were four they wore size 5 and 6 in clothing.
Parker wears 2’s. With room to grow.
The Mom and I exchange a few more thoughts and we both continue on in our opposite directions.
For a minute, my heart hurts. I acknowledge that Parker’s life will be full of situations that will make his Mom’s heart hurt.
But then I remember that Parker will also be surrounded by family who will cover him in love all of his life. A family who knows what a blessing we have been given by Parker being in our family. A family who understands the beauty and potential that lies within different.
And my heart. My heart begins to soar again.