Letting Go

For the first two years of Charlie’s life, I wouldn’t buy him or dress him in anything with a sport theme. If mom was in charge, Charlie would not be wearing basketballs, footballs, baseballs, or soccer balls. No “future quarterback” graced the body of my little one.

I hated to dress him in a constant reminder of what he might never do. The wheelchair was always a possibility and that made sports seem pretty unlikely.

These days I find I don’t notice these things very much any more. Sports aren’t my first pick, but that’s only because Charlie loves music, so I try to pick “rock n roll” themed stuff for him instead.

I’ve let go of some things. It doesn’t sting any more that Charlie might never play baseball or basketball. He might still be a fan. He might play wheelchair basketball. He might have never played sports as a typical child–Lord knows I was no star athlete.

So, one hang-up gone. Only five thousand left to go, right?

Do you have any hang-ups? Making any progress on them?

family of three

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  1. Great family pic! So funny that you posted this! I just removed a lunch box from my son’s amazon list because it had aliens on it. The design was really cute, mind you…it’s just that my son’s head is very, very large and kind of, well…alien shaped :( I guess I’m not quite ready to let go of that one. I would feel just horrible if my son’s lunch box caused the other preschoolers to tease him!

    • Sherri! I’m so glad you shared that with me. I guess we’ve all got our hang ups, right? I find that sometimes I’m much more aware of Charlie’s “faults” then the rest of the world, but I guess that’s what moms are for, right? To keep our babies safe from potential meanies.

  2. First of all, that is such a PRECIOUS picture!!! I love it! You all look fantastic! Charlie steals the show though. πŸ˜‰

    I think I have at LEAST 5,000 hang-ups that I am aware of and a few thousand more that I am not aware of. The holidays have a way of helping you discover those. πŸ˜›

    [Yes, I mutter and curse everytime I flip through a Pottery Barn Kids, RH Baby & Child, Land of Nod catalogue. So what? You’d think they could put at least ONE non-normy in the freaking catalogue! And, yes, I’ve taken to calling other kids “normies” because I can’t really stomach the words “special needs”, “disabled” or “differently -abled”. GAG. MY kid isn’t the weird one. The others–THOSE are the weird ones (at least to me)–the normies. Are those enough hang-ups for you? ;)]

    • Normie is funny. I don’t mind all the funny terminology–although sometimes I’m not sure what the right word is since there are so many.

      You’re right–these catalogues could put a special needs kid in every now and then. I mean, are kids are cute too, right?

    • That’s what I love about Toys R Us! They have kids in wheelchairs and walkers in their Ads and they put out a special catalog of toys each year!


  3. Ballerinas….darn them :-)

    • I totally agree! Out west (Utah) we have a professional dance company that puts on a production called “Thiller” that showcases a variety of music/themes of Halloween and other topics – in one piece a ballerina gets shot and drops to the floor dead. I really did scream with laughter – more than most folks around me – and if you ever get the chance to see this performance I recommend it wholeheartedly. A friend I sat next to whispered “Yeah, the skinny ballerina gets it! Yeah!” I liked it when the snipers shot the Riverance troupe as well . . .

  4. Hi Katy – I’ve always put Eli in the sports themed stuff. I figured he may not play but I”m not taking away my fun of dressing him like I would have any other kiddo.

    My bigger issue is NOW however. He hasn’t grown much in 3 years…..so at age 5 he can still wear the 24 month onesies from Carters. (they are long and skinny)
    It’s now, at age 5, that I DON’T want him in “Mommy’s Little Super Star” outfits anymore, but am limited on my selection. I put him in a onesie everyday to keep his feeding tubes covered up……
    so I started layering a t-shirt over the goofy onesies to satisfy my weirdness! :)
    Bibs are the same problem……that’s why I LOVE the bibs I buy from Colby Lane Designs on Etsy….they are big boy fabrics! :)


    • Etsy is full of great stuff–especially baby stuff that doesn’t look too baby-ish!

      I like your idea for covering up the onesies–onesies are good for our little guys anyways because they don’t have gravity to keep their shirts down!

  5. Owen loves music. And there might come a day when he can’t hear it.

    I want to involve him with after school stuff, a sport, boy scouts. But his school is so far away, his days are too long to do anything after school… and he’d never be able to hear a coach… and I think a room full of hearing boys would be jerks to Owen.


    Love the family photo. I think I have to comment on how cute your hubby is every time you post a pic of him.

    • Awww, thanks–I think he’s cute too!

      Hopefully Owen will get an opportunity to do some extra-curriculars. He’s still pretty young, so I would think that there’s time.

  6. I find other people have hang ups too. I dressed O in an adorable pair of overalls that said Terror on wheels with a dinosaur on a skateboard. I thought it was adorable that he was in his walker wearing this outfit and running over his friends toes at daycare. It was so cute. Another parent was horrified. If I have no issues, why on earth is SHE upset?

    Those “words” used to really get me too. Last week my 4 year old daughter attended one of O’s PT sessions and they were calling her typical and O special needs in this one comparative about how they learned to walk. She was so upset, she wanted to be SPECIAL too!!!!!

    • That other parent is crazy. I think that is AWESOME!!! Hubby and I are constantly joking that we need to get Charlie a shirt that says “hell on wheels.”

      How cute that your little one wants to be special. When I taught middle school I would use the word positively and my kids would grimace–to them, it was a bad word.

  7. Great pic! I have to agree with Holly. I avoid things with ballerinas or dancers on them. Sort of like pouring salt on the wound! I also avoid things that say Princess or Spoiled, but that has nothing to do with Emily’s special needs. Just another one of my hang-ups (there isn’t enough space here to go through them all!).

    • I’m not really into that spoiled stuff either. It doesn’t strike me as a positive description.

  8. I always have a tough time in the spring when people post their photos of all the little girls in their tutus at their dance recitals. That’s always tough to see. Especially the kids who were babies with my Little Bird.

  9. You know, Alan will never be an athlete, but I love getting him lots of different shirts to wear. He must have tons of t-shirts from all over. I think it helps me to feel like he is getting to experience some of the things of life that others have experienced. I love that he has his own personality, even if he will not ever be Drew Brees. But he is himself..he loves caps and sneakers and jeans, so that is what we usually stick with.

    I love your new picture, Fantastic!

    Merry Christmas Katy!

  10. I too struggle with the dance thing, especially ballet. Only recently have I started letting go of it and allowing her to get into dance themed clothing. She even has a yellow tutu. I used to get very sad when I would see other kids, even those with CP, getting to do dance class. I still have a twinge of the sadness, but I am getting better.

    • I ALWAYS wanted a tutu as a little girl–and I never got one. I even took dance! Your daughter is lucky to have a mother who understands the importance of such things.

  11. I think between Special Olympics and challenger league sports you might have more opportunities for sports than you think. We have a friend with CP who uses a wheelchair and she plays challenger little league – and loves it from all reports. We use hand-me-downs a lot so I don’t always pick what’s on my kids’ clothes. I have mostly been frustrated by how gruesome some of the little boy shirts are – skulls and monsters and what-not. What happened to plaid and stripes? My hang-ups are mostly related to my perfectionism…not wanting to do something unless I can do it right AND finish it…which ends up meaning a lot of things don’t get finished because I never get started…hah.

    • Oh, yes–I totally understand the “frustrated perfectionist” syndrome–been there, done that!

      You are right about the sports, which I think might be part of the reason I’m less hung up on it. There are lots of opportunities for people with disabilities out there.

      The gruesome stuff doesn’t really bother me, but you are not alone on that one. Erin down below hates the skulls too. I guess I never really thought about those.

  12. Hangups? What hangups? OK, my ballet issue has less to with whether Hannah can do a dance class like her peers and more that I hate stick skinny women and I think eating disorders are a tragedy (and unfathomable, I love food).

    • I’m actually not a fan of any extracurricular activity that eats up every waking minute of a child’s life.

  13. Right now I am my son’s greatest obstacle. This must change. Period. That means that there are probably about 748,486 hang-ups that need to be eliminated.

    That’s a lot of hang-ups. Reminds me of when I tried calling girls in high school.

    • While I doubt seriously that you are your “son’s greatest obstacle,” I think there’s nothing wrong with trying to let go of a hang up or two.

  14. I am the same way re: sports themed clothes, but even moreso, I try to avoid the oh-so-ubiquitous skull-and-crossbone design on all the trendy boy clothes. Fletcher just came way too close to death for me to be comfortable dressing him in that.

    • Oh gosh! Is it terrible that I sort of like the skull and cross bones? I’ve always thought of it as “rock n roll” which suits Charlie to a T. You are making me think, though. It’s not like he’s covered in skulls, but I don’t mind them.

      • yeah, i think it is a more rocker statement than grim reaper, and fletcher has the most awesome bib and a hand-me-down shirt in the design… but it still kinda gives me the creeps a little.

    • Erin, I totally liked the skull and crossbones until W’s stroke. Now, they totally creep me out on him (not on other kids). So, I completely understand. I had bought some clothes ahead before his hospitalization and they are still unworn b/c I just can’t bear to put them on him. Remind too much of what almost was…

  15. I don’t like the sports-themed clothes not because of the (possible) limitations my son will (likely) have, but because it is contributing to this idea of raising superstars and that this is considered “successful” parenting, or a desireable outcome. I think if I had an able bodied child I would still resist the sports clothing for the plain and simple reason that I place much more focus on other successes. I’m not and athlete myself and I’ve valued hardwork to get through school and university. And finding joy and being truly happy. That’s something to advetise on your shirt, if you want to get beat up at school πŸ˜‰

    Ok, ok, maybe it is a hang up on my part then.

    My favourite shirt for the kiddo is a bright orange shirt that say “Watch out world -here I come!”. Quite fitting and most appropriate for my little go-getter.

    PS that’s just the cutest smile ever on Charlie!

  16. The dancey thing is a hard pill for me to swallow too. It wouldn’t say I’m hung up on it but it definately can sneak up on me when I see other girls Oia’s age fluttering around in such clothing. My biggest pill right now is simply a kid who can TALK. I’m really having a hard time with this one.

  17. I thought I was the only one that had an issue with the ballerina clothes. It doesn’t bother me as much anymore because I finally just bought a tutu and put it on her. I also think I was able to move past it because when my older daughter saw her sister in her tutu she said ” We match…she is a princess too!” and started dancing around her. In her mind they were dancing together. She couldn’t tell anything was different so I pretty much told myself to get over it. It is hard pill to swallow though. I never thought about the skull and cross bones being an issue but I can see how that may just be a little too much depending on your experiences.