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.

Monday, May 30, 2011

I choose to smile

Before I became a mother I remember imagining what it would be like. I also remember thinking how awful it would be to have a child with special needs. I felt sorry for the men and women I saw in public with kids with Downs Syndrome, in wheel chairs or with any of those sort of needs. I KNEW that I would never be able to handle having a child with those types of needs.
Now that I am a mother and a mother of special needs child I get those same pitiful looks that I once gave to special parents years ago. I don't want any pity though. Justin and I are very happy. Tyler and Carter and very happy. Tanner is very happy. WE are very happy.
Often I hear family and friends say "I don't know how you do it" or "I wish this wouldn't have happened to you." They often seem surprised by my responses to these comments. Of course we have challenging moments. What family doesn't. Our challenges are just different than other families. AND although it does effect us nothing happened to me......Tanner is the one with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome and if Tanner is always happy and smiling......why shouldn't I?
My attitude has obviously changed a lot about having a special needs child. I think most people would surprise themselves if they were given a special child. You do what you have to do. I think the part that my family and friends are most proud of Justin and I for is how we handle it. People cope with things different ways. In our particular situation (after getting a grasp on Tanner's diagnosis and going through those stages of grief) we decided to do this with a smile and with a positive attitude which makes it easier for everybody involved.
My niece, Syndey, gave me a small painting for my birthday just a 2 months after Tanner was born that reads "If your handed it, you can handle it". I truly believe that. I think there are parents out there that do not believe that. They feel cheated and lost in this journey. You really must make your lemonade if God gives you lemons. If you constantly complain that you wanted orange juice you will never truly be happy.
Don't get me wrong. I have bad days...usually if Tanner has a bad day. On those days I always try to remember that there are people out there worse off than us. I feel blessed that Tanner smiles at me, laughs with me and that he has the capability to progress developmentally!!!! Some children cannot show that they love you, some cannot flash a smile and some cannot progress...even at a delayed pace.
I guess these are my words of encouragement to those struggling in this journey or to those that may be faced with similar challenges in the future.


Nona said...

Tanner is god's special gift to our family, xoxoxo

JKilpatty said...

His little happy face with those adorable little glasses is AWESOME! He is so stinkin' sweet, and he is truly blessed to have you and Justin as his parents. You guys have a million reasons to smile... thank you for sharing your stories!

Hannah said...

I couldn't agree any more with you. I think we are so blessed to have our babies. I cannot imagine life without Riley and would not change a thing about her. She is perfect in every way. I love your perspective. Tanner is so blessed to call you mama.

Melissa and Luke Young said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this post... And I tottally agree... If Ellie is smiling than so am I.. I have to admit I didnt feel like this at the start in her first year or so, but over time my prespective has changed... she makes me grin from ear to ear x

Hilary said...

Great post. I know what you mean, Magnolia's smile makes everything okay. Tanner is too cute! Love him!

Jen Currier said...

Hi- I just stumbled across your blog. I related to SO much of what you had to say here! I have a one year old baby boy with Down syndrome and I can't stand the looks of pity, or the comments about how strong I they could never be as strong in my shoes. My take is this: You never realize how "strong" you are until you have to be. Then, when the dust settles, the day to day isn't really very different from everyone else. Our youngest is an absolute joy- in many ways he has been a much easier baby than our firstborn. LOL! I love the blog title too: I choose to smile. Heck yeah! And why shouldn't you???!!! :)

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