For parents of children with special needs, or medically complex children you always hear the whispers of “that poor child” or the looks of pity from people. Even the child’s family and siblings say they feel sorry for them, however I don’t feel sorry for them. Alfie came to me the other day and said he felt sorry for River and I asked him why and he said “because he is poorly and can’t do some things other children can do” – my response to him was… “I don’t feel sorry for River – do you no why? Because River is the happiest little boy, he does not know another life, his life has always been this way and he knows no different. He is lucky to have such amazing big brothers to look after him. He smiles everyday – that is not someone you should feel sorry for it’s someone you should admire”.
Alfie also thought River would die young, this was a really hard conversation to have with my eight year old about his little brother, however it was important to have as Alfie is a sensitive little boy and it was obviously in his mind I hope I put his mind at rest though as he won’t be losing River for an extremely long time.
Don’t get me wrong I feel bad that River and all these other children out there have to go through things that they really should not have to, however they don’t want your pity, they want your support, your care and your admiration.
People with learning difficulties don’t know they have learning difficulties they just know that life, that life is sometimes harder. that life is also sometimes magical and it’s the same as your life – it has it’s ups and downs.
When people see River I want them to see River for who he is I want you to see past a feeding tube and a walking frame and the fact he can’t express himself or understand as much as other children his age and just look at that little face – how could you feel sorry for that little smile, he is the happiest toddler around…you may feel envy at his long eyelashes though…. I know I do.