I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t love me so much.
- Mother Teresa
So, I am a big, fat chicken! Took O and his sister, E, to the doctor for their well-child check-ups and the doctor offered to take care of O‘s kindergarten shots, even though he still has another year of preschool before he will be kindergarten age. Dr. K said that these shots can be given anytime after a child turns four and still count for kindergarten readiness. This sounds like good news, except that…I’m a big, fat chicken!
Although Dr. K is not technically allowed tell me what to do, he strongly encouraged me to consider having the shots. After all, most insurance companies don’t pay for two well-child check-ups in one year. However, I knew that this wasn’t the case for my insurance. I had checked into this two years ago when E entered kindergarten, since her birthday is also in April and kindergarten registration is often in March. So, I really didn’t have to worry about that.
What I did have to worry about was that, not only had I not prepared O for this doctor visit – the time had gotten away from me – but I had definitely not prepared him to get shots. In all fairness, he did really well with the visit, largely in part because he got to watch his big sister bravely go through all of the same things he was going to have to do. You should have seen his face when the nurse mistakenly asked him to get weighed first. I didn’t think he would let go of me. I calmly asked E if she would go first. Being an awesome big sister, she complied.
So, after a relatively easy visit, I couldn’t imagine having to endure four shots. None of us were prepared for that. So, no shots. But, the whole way home I berated myself, internally of course, about my lack of courage. Why didn’t I just get the shots? Wouldn’t it have been easier? Aside from the screaming four year old I would have had to restrain, on my own, while the “shot lady” asked me, not so politely, to keep him still, it would have been okay, right? No, it was just too hard!
This is one thing that I continually struggle with as a mother of a special needs child…when and how far to push. So, sometimes I just don’t push at all. I know that it’s not the best solution, but it is at times the most comfortable solution for me and for O. It’s possible that the shot situation is not the best example. I mean, any mother in the same situation, might make the same decision for their child, right? But, I wouldn’t have, at least not for my girls.
However, I am famous for this, for taking the easy way out, especially when it comes to O. I have often let his teachers and therapists do the pushing, and when I am confident that he has made significant progress, I can then help him into mastery and with generalizing that skill. It’s the initial push that kills me.
Why is this so hard? Because, I want life to be easier for him. Because, as much as I love him and appreciate him for who he is, I wish things were different. I don’t want him to have to endure the issues that are a part of his make-up. I don’t want to be the one who makes things harder. Even though my intellect knows he needs practice with these hard things, my heart says something entirely different.
In most areas of my life, I lead with my head, not my heart. I am all about being rational and using practical and logical reasoning. With O, I am in constant battle with my emotional side. I am hoping to win this war, in time.