You know how these things are, women are cackling and talking about their children and grandchildren and somehow my mom find another woman at the table with a special needs grandchild.
The other woman's grandchild was a preemie born at 31 weeks who had suffered a brain bleed. The other grandmother said he is doing well dealing mostly with speech delays, but even this seems to be resolving at this point (age five). There seemed to be only one real problem according to the grandmother: the child still eats only pureed food. My mom, an amateur member of the Spanish Inquisition, asked a few more questions. Side note: really, Homeland security should study my mother. The shear breadth of the questions she asks is quite amazing. Imagine my brother and I talking to her as children. She wanted to know what our new friends' parents did for a living and we didn't even know their last names.
My mom's curiosity stems from her genuine love of people, though, so she was very curious about this stranger's grandchild. Her interrogation revealed that the child was of normal size and weight, and had no apparent nutritional deficits.
My mom called me later to tell me all about her lunch and, of course, filled me in on the stranger's grandchild. At the end of the conversation she says, "You know, Katy, my perspective has really changed--who cares if he only eats pureed foods--at least he eats."
And really, isn't it always about perspective? My child can't walk or talk, but he loves to eat and I don't take that for granted. I'm sitting on a comfortable couch enjoying air conditioning and when the bill comes, I'll be able to pay it. I live in a country where my child's medical conditions can be treated and where early intervention is standard practice.
Most importantly, my child is supported by an incredibly caring team of extended family and friends. People who care about his therapies, his accomplishments, and his set-backs. With all of this going my way, it's hard to be sad about what I don't have for very long.