Meghan and I have a lot of “deep” conversations. More than you might expect an 8 (almost 9) year old to be capable of.
Today she was wondering why we have to have Cowden’s Syndrome. Why is our PTEN gene broken?
Well, I said to her, everyone has something to deal with – and this is what we’ve got.
She thought for a minute, trying to figure it out herself, and then said, “What do you mean?”
“No matter where you go in the world, in every city and town, in every street, in every country, on every continent – EVERYONE is dealing with SOMETHING.”
I told her there is a saying that goes around “If everyone could toss all their troubles into a circle, and choose which ones we wanted, we would likely take our own back.”
Almost indignant she said,, “Why would I take back Cowden’s Syndrome? It stinks.”
“Yep, but would you trade it for the family that doesn’t have enough money to buy food, the family that lost their house to a fire, the family where the parents have lost their jobs, the family where the parents aren’t in love, or are divorced, the child who can’t have any pets because her sisters are allergic, the family whose Mom or Dad died, fighting for the freedoms we celebrate today?”
It doesn’t take much for her to “get it.” That’s why I love her so much.
“There are kids without dogs,” she said. “Lots of them. And I really love Allie and Lucky.
There are kids without their own room, or even their own house.
There are kids whose Moms and Dads don’t love each other.
Some kids have other diseases where they have to go to the hospital even more than me.
Some kids don’t get to know their grandparents or their great- grandparents, like I do.
I get it Mom, I think I do. But, still it seems like some people have no worries, no problems at all.”
“Those are the people I worry most about Meghan. Those are usually the people whose hearts hurt. They are often alone, or insecure, or feeling unloved. Trust me, EVERYONE has something.”
“I guess you were right Mom. I don’t like having Cowden’s Syndrome… but I wouldn’t trade our life for anyone’s.”
“I am glad – me either. Our “thing” to handle is medical, and we will get through it – together. Tonight we celebrate our country, and the freedoms it was founded on. We celebrate the soldiers who fought for our freedoms, and the ones that continue to fight. It is those freedoms that allow us the ability to battle whatever “thing” plagues our own life.
We are all struggling, and we are all lucky.”
One thought on “EVERYONE has SOMETHING!”
This. This is one of those things that I think is harder for people who aren’t sick to understand than people who are. People whose problems seem to shift, for whom things come and go and sometimes they have few worries, they have a harder time grasping this. But I tell people all the time that I wouldn’t trade in my decade of therapy and medication and side effects and pain. All of those things are important in some way and they are mine and they are part of mwho I am. And it’s the same thing for Meg – and she’ll get it more and more as she gets older, but it will always be true – that part of what shapes her personality and perspective are her particular worries. And we come to love our ways of understanding.