Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Stranger: "How old is he?"

Me: "He's two."

.....Awkward Silence....

Stranger: "He's so small."

Me: "Yeah, he was born really early so he's still catching up."

Stranger: "Is he going to be ok?" or "Is there anything else wrong with him?" or "Is he going to catch up eventually?"

This is a conversation I have every time we go out in public which is pretty much daily.  Actually, I'm keeping it mild.  Some of the things people have said/asked would blow you away!  I totally get that our sweet boy is itty-bitty (just like his Tummy Mom and his Mama) and when people ask how old he is, they aren't expecting me to say he's two.  But, the questions that people ask are still difficult to swallow. 

At first, I didn't really care when people asked these questions, but lately I'm not loving it.  Caysen is understanding more and more and it breaks my heart to think that he will grow up hearing people say things that make him feel anything less than perfect just the way he is.  I don't want him to think of himself as Caysen, the boy who is "too small" and "not normal".  I want him to think of himself as Caysen, the boy who is "kind" and "loving" and "confident" and "just the way God made me" and so many other things.

Most people mean well and have just never experienced what Caysen has, so I can't expect them to see it through our eyes.  However, knowing this doesn't make it any easier to accept that our precious boy might be convinced by strangers that he is anything less than the most wonderful blessing and miracle we could ever imagine.

Our sweet boy was born early...really early.  According to science, he shouldn't have made it; but I'm just sure that God's got big plans for him.  He gave him the tough, determined personality he would need to overcome the obstacles in the first days, weeks, and months of his life.  I just hope that hearing these comments from strangers doesn't knock him down and take that strength away.

Sometimes I'm tempted to shut the rest of the world out and just let him be with Mama and Daddy, two people who swoon over his every move and think that everything he does is "the cutest thing ever", but I know that he can handle it and he's going to be ok.  Besides, he'd miss out on an aweful lot of good if it was just Mama, Daddy, and Caysen 24/7. 

This is my feeble attempt at reminding people to think before you speak and remember, even little ears can hear you.

Ok, I'm stepping down from my soap-box now and I'll try to return to positive, upbeat, happy blogger soon. ;)


SassyAgapi said...

What a cutie~he is just right :)

The Annessa Family said...

That so hard to have to handle...growing up with a brother who has Down syndrome I have heard some of the cruelest things...I remember always waking away from those moments feeling so sorry for someone who was that short-sighted. I mean...we're the lucky ones! To know the reality of the value of an individual is beyond that of ANY human expectation...

You get it. So he will too.


Lacy said...

I like Leslie on a Soap Box. She makes a lot of really great points. What a lucky boy Caysen is to have such an awesome mom who knows how amazing he is and can be. Im excited to see all the great things Caysen will do in his life. And you rant all you want. I liked it!

Jess and Matt said...

oh my gosh Leslie, I could go on an on, on my own soapbox. I get what you are saying. Between Matt and Beckham, I have heard the craziest things. I really cannot even believe the stuff people say without thinking, whether they are well-meaning, just curious, or whatever. It can be really difficult. I think you are totally right in continuing to live your normal life, bring that precious boy out wherever you want to go, and let him experience the world. Your faith and love, and confidence in him will raise him to be confident and self-assured, no matter what he hears from the outside. I am sure that there will be times in his life when he questions why things might be more difficult, why someone says something hurtful etc. and that might even hurt you more than him. I worry about that so much, being a mom. It's so hard to see our children struggle in any way. It's just part of our life's experience. From my perspective, you are doing everything perfectly. That tiny pint size boy is going to take the world by the heals and show everyone what he's made of. I am sure he will inspire and encourage others and continue to impress people along the way. I love him and I don't even know him (but I feel like i do!! :) You can always just say, "oh, he's just small because I am tiny and my husband is a 5' Tawainese man..." hahaha. Now I will kindly step off my soapbox.... Oh, and I am in the process of making the exact wreath...I love pinterest, so many great ideas.

jnlraboin said...

Hey, you can get on your soapbox anytime! That's why you are his momma! He needs someone to make him strong because life is tough even with normal circumstances. He will be just fine.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog Leslie and I feel like I know Caysen just by reading it. He is a precious little guy and he will be loved by all that know him. He has a special momma and daddy. Love you all!Vicki

Sue said...

You can stay on that soapbox for as long as you want. I just might join you. We hear those comments all the time, too. I get so sick and tired of explaining. Yes, our boys are tiny. My daughter is tiny, too. As I tell Natalie every day, in the country where you were born, you are average height; here - you are exactly the way GOD wanted you! Our children may have their struggles, but they are true gifts from the Lord.

Anonymous said...

Those harsh words just give you more opportunity to let Jesus shine through you and I'm sure He does. What an amazing young man God entrusted to you guys, He knew exactly who Caysen's mom and dad needed to be. You guys will instill such confidence in Caysen I doubt words will bother him. He will know who he is, that he is loved and most of all that he is God's big boy!!! Love you!!! Mona