I know I shouldn't care what other people think. It's actually something I've always struggled with. I've always been worried about other's opinions rather than mine. I remember in middle school having a year that I just wore the most ridiculous get ups to try to make people think that I didn't care what they thought. That just ended up being stupid. I walked around in fluorescent orange tights and purple shoes feeling totally self conscious. Haha....that just makes me laugh now. What doesn't make me laugh is that still care what people think. Maybe not about my clothing, shoes, house, or what kind of car I drive.......but what they think of my baby.
When I look at Tanner I see huge, beautiful, blue eyes, a gorgeous smile with dimples to match, and an engaging blossoming personality. Lately, I've been disappointing myself time and time again when I'm out with Tanner.....and sometimes even when I'm alone. Somehow, I always work Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome into ANY conversation that I'm having. If somebody asks how old he is, I feel like I have to explain why he's small. If I'm alone and shopping for shoes for Tanner....I feel like I have to explain why I'm in search of such tiny shoes for a 1 year old. If Tanner's with me and a stranger is doting over him....I tell them he has WHS, just in case they may think he looks different. I don't think Tanner looks different. Is that because I have a fierce, unconditional love for him? On two occasions we have disturbingly overheard "that baby looks like an alien". That was a terrible feeling. Could this have something to do with my overflow of information to strangers? I remember saying more than once that I would not let Tanner's diagnosis define who he is. I surely do not put any limitations on what he may or may not do because of his diagnosis. But when I'm spilling my guts to the average stranger it does seem like I'm letting WHS define him and it's really bothering me. Is this some sort of coping mechanism I've developed to comfort myself.....am I subconsciously searching for his acceptance into society.....do I just need to talk about it.....or could I possibly be letting WHS define who I am????? Have I forgotten who I am? Sure there's a lot more to me than being the mother of a special needs baby. I'm Jess Williams.....Carter's mommy....Tyler's step mommy....every one's favorite bartender......an energetic, passionate dancer......the master of the pogo stick.....or the Garth Algore impersonator.. I could go on and on about the different things my family and friends may think of when my name comes up. But, I don't know why I'm only sticking with the mother of a child with Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome. I've come to terms with Tanner's diagnosis. I don't feel depressed or sad about it. I'm just annoyed with this and I want to stop. I'm proud of Tanner and want to show him to the world, let him be him, and without any kind of explanation.