The Tan Man

The Tan Man

Welcome to Thankful 4 Tanner

Hello all! And thank you for visiting our blog about our family and precious baby Tanner. Here you will always find up to date information about Tanner. I know sometimes it's hard to get ahold of us when you are wondering how Tanner is doing. So here we will post information we recieve at his doctor's appointments. We will always post Tanner's biweekly weight checks and overall growth. We'll post all of his accomplishments that seem to be coming daily. He's always trying something new. Thanks again for visiting and caring about our precious gift from God.

Friday, April 30, 2010

What others think

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 I subconsciously searching for his acceptance into 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 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.


Mitch Fisher said...

We must be on the same wave length. I was just telling myself yesterday to stop explaining to total strangers Dylan's diagnosis. I find myself doing it all the time, especially when they ask his age - I feel like that needs an immediate explanation. I have actually only had a few children ask about the way Dylan looks and everyone else just thinks he is the cutest little baby - which I think so too. I too want to show him off and take him places and your post was a good reminder to me to try to not label Dylan with the diagnosis all the time. We need to continue to just see our adorable, sweet little boys. :)

Kristy said...

That last comment was from me (Kristy) not my husband - I was accidently signed in under his log-in.

Kisses4Kaylee said...

Oh wow, Jess-- I could have written that post myself. Mark was concerned that I was defining myself as the mother of special needs children and forgetting that there is so much more to me. I brushed him off, but when I find myself explaining to total strangers why Kaylee is so tiny, I feel like I am somehow justifying her size and, in a way, doing exactly what Mark says I do-- defining myself, and her, by her diagnosis. I love her and think she is the cutest baby-- like a china doll-- but I admit that the paranoia still exists whenever I am out with her. I feel like they are thinking, "why is she so small?" I could lie and say she is a preemie; she is young enough that that excuse would work. However, it makes me feel better to tell the truth. I also feel like they are being educated about something they had never heard of before, either... and I hate to admit it, but perhaps I welcome a bit of their pity. It keeps me from feeling sorry for myself. It is hard being the parent of a child with needs; in fact, it can be exhausting-- mostly because we live in a world where people take the littlest things for granted, and if our children are a reflection of us, we want them to project the most perfect image possible. Reconciling the reality with the fantasy takes time; I still have yet to succeed completely with my eldest. However, they have my love, and when you get down to it, that is all that matters. You are not alone.

jane said...

We have all been there. Theresa has asked me not to bring jayna to her school because the kids have said that her big eyes scare them and she said it just hurts to much to hear them say that

Hannah said...

I honestly can say that I have only once or twice told others in public about Riley's diagnosis. When people comment on her size, I say good things come in small packages. Or when people stare while she is getting tube fed while I am grocery shopping, I simply smile back. However, sometimes I wish I did explain more. I am proud to be Riley's mom and even though WHS does not define her, it is a part of who she is and I am proud of that also. I am proud to be a mom to a special needs baby. Not many people are chosen for this role and most people could never do what we do day in and day out. I think it is good that you show off Tanner. WHS is a part of him. You aren't asking for pity or sympathy, simply educating others, which needs to be done. Maybe people would think twice about making inappropriate comments. I think Tanner is absolutely gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Our Tanner Is Angelic, The world is made up of all kinds of people, Rude comments come from people who are uneducated, selfish and not caring .

Love To All POP_POP And Nona