YOU ARE UNIQUE AND IT IS WONDERFUL.
Thomas is 7 years old and last weekend we spent at least 9 hours together in the car driving to and from our happy place. This led to some great conversations, including a chat about his eye and the little dark line he has... his coloboma. This is a very rare eye condition that occurs in one in 10,000 births. It is a gap in part of the eyes structure. It can have zero impact on eyesight yet for some can be the root cause for blindness. Fortunately, as far as we know Thomas’ eyesight has not and will not been impacted by this.
I remember when Swifty (husband) spotted the extra dark line when Thomas was only days old. As a new Mum my anxiety went into overdrive. During labour Thomas was in distress, during an oxygen level check on his brain, damage was caused to the skin beneath his eye which left him very bruised (they were aiming for top of his head - eeek), I was convinced he must have also been poked in the actual eye. Every worst case scenario running through my mind and I did what every anxious new parent does (and probably shouldn’t) and reached for Dr google! That just made the anxiety rocket through the roof 🤯
Then we did the sensible thing, following a chat with the health visitor, we booked in with our GP. After initial checks he confirmed Thomas had a coloboma and there was no obvious impact to eyesight. This was a massive relief yet during further research I discovered a number of articles about children who were severely bullied because of their coloboma... anxiety rushing to the mummy heart once more 🤯
What can I do to protect him from being bullied?
Unfortunately, the acceptance tool had to come out first. There is very little I can do to prevent other children (and adults) from picking on this very (or any) small difference and use it in a harmful way towards my son, yet what I can do is be proactive with the aim of reducing the impact on Thomas’s self esteem and well-being if that does happen.
I can encourage both my children to love every part of their body through positive conversation and behaviours (this isn’t easy for someone who has had body confidence issues). I have become very aware of how I talk about myself in their company.
I can give them the space and time to accept how unique they are and also learn how important it is to accept the differences of others.
I can show them that being unique is a wonderful thing. As a teenager I was told I was weird, this had negative impacts on my self-esteem for years, my children will be educated that weird is wonderful. I now appreciate this about myself.
I can introduce them to the tools I have been given in more recent years to build resilience and self-esteem when life throws the curve balls and harsh words.
I can ask the other adults in their lives to think about how they talk about my children in their company.
Most importantly I can love them and show that love every single day, let them know that they can always talk to me about anything.
I asked Thomas if it was ok for me to do this post and share a picture of his beautiful eye (it isn’t actually that obvious in pictures). He smiled and said “of course”.
It’s no big deal. I hope it stays that way for him ❤️
What do you need to accept about yourself today?
Have a lovely day xx