This is a guest post by Peyton’s Daddy.
These are the things that make being a parent hard.
To anyone I work with, we have all heard our supervisors and peers tell us when we encounter a situation that has no good outcome or right answer, “This is why they pay you the big bucks, make a decision.” In those times, we are forced to make a quick decision and deal with all the Monday morning quarterbacking later. Well, there are no big bucks to be earned as a parent during these times. I’m certain I will do most of the Monday morning quarterbacking myself. This is simply a case of having your son become more and more aware that he is different. You can’t give him the ol’, “If you work harder, you can do it.” That just isn’t true and it isn’t healthy in his case.
We are fortunate to have a swimming pool at our house. The doctors have told us that Peyton can participate safely in two activities “swimming” and “bicycle riding.” These two activities allow him to exercise without damaging his muscles. Again, it is somewhat technical and since I’m not a doctor, I’ll just mess it up by trying to explain it.
Since we have a pool, we pretty much use it daily during the summer. This evening, Peyton became very frustrated. He was playing “shark” with his two brothers, Logan and Brayden (also know as “Bear Bear” or just “Bear”). Generally, one of them names me as the shark, so I swim around and make a sort of dramatic attempt to eat them as they try to escape. We all know what I’m talking about. I put my hand on top of my head like a fin and the “duuunnn daaa, duunn daa, dun da” music starts playing in the background.
Tonight, during our game of shark, each of the boys taunted me to eat them. They were huddled on one side of the pool and I was on the other. I began my dramatic swim toward them. The boys seem to make the Jaws music for me. Logan and Bear reached out of the pool, grabbed on to the ledge and just pulled themselves out. Keep in mind that Bear is 3 years old and Peyton is 7. Peyton tried to pull himself out as well. He got as far as pulling his chest out of the water. That is usually about all he can do. He began screaming in frustration. Of course I stopped the game and Bonnie swam over to him. Bonnie asked him what was wrong. Peyton told us while almost crying, “Why can’t I ever pull myself out of the pool like Logan or Bear.” Bonnie turned to me with a sad look of disappointment. I knew exactly what she was thinking.
I called Peyton over to me. I wish I had some great words of wisdom to tell him. I wish it were as simple as strength building. But, I knew that wasn’t a possibility even with today’s medical technology. So I put my arm around him as he sat on my lap. I had to remind him of a previous conversation that we had when I explained to him how God makes everyone different for a reason. We are all given gifts in life. God gave him the gift of an incredible personality, the gift of a beautiful smile, which can light up a room and the gift of being very, very intelligent. But it seems that we are not given everything and that we need to use the gifts we have to our advantage. God also gave you the gift of a muscle disease. So we need to focus on the things we can do and not things that we can’t.
In pure Peyton class and style he said, “Ok Daddy,” as he swam back over to his brothers.
I honestly think this is harder for me than him.