Giving credit where credit is due

Yesterday, I took Ruby to a check-up with her ENT, who she has seen since she got her first set of PE tubes at age one. After Ruby passed her hearing test with flying colors, he took a peek in her ears and asked her a few questions, which she cheerfully answered, much to his surprise. He told me how astounded he was with her language skills and overall development.

Like many of the doctors that Ruby has seen since her birth, her ENT never imagined in his wildest dreams how far Ruby would come developmentally. When she was born, doctors thought her small head size would be a sure predictor of debilitating “mental retardation” and her vision impairment would only intensify the deep degree of disability she would have. Couple that with the fact that I am a single mom and all Ruby’s doctors thought she was doomed to a life with little to no development or progress.

But when that same little girl they once thought was doomed is standing in front of them laughing, walking, talking and generally just lighting up the room, it rocks them to their very core. It defies all of the medical books they’ve read. It goes against all of the studies they’ve studied. It’s a miracle.

After her doc shared his excitement over Ruby’s development, I said to him (but more so to myself), “She’s pretty amazing, isn’t she?” And he was quick to reply, “She sure is.”

Then he said, “You know you deserve all the credit for how amazing she is, don’t you?” And I had to sit there for a minute to absorb the words as they coursed through my head and into my heart. I wasn’t sure what to say, so I just said, “Thank you.”

But my response should have been: “You are wrong.”

Yes, I work hard researching and getting Ruby into various therapies, I make sure she gets to all of her medical appointments and I try to teach her as much as I can. I feed and clothe her and love her to bits. But I can’t take all of the credit for the progress she has made, this little girl who never stops trying and never complains — and does it all with a huge, glowing smile on her face. She deserves the credit.

Because without her strength and sheer determination, all of my efforts would be for naught.

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3 thoughts on “Giving credit where credit is due

  1. I can totally relate to what your saying. My daughter had Infantile Spasms and because of her diagnosis, many thought she would have many of the same problems that you have described. But looking at her now, besides the fact that she isn’t walking yet, she acts just like her peers! What miracles!

  2. One day collegeman’s second grade teacher, asked me what we did to help him so much. I told her its not us, its all him. These children have a courage that we can only support. They are truly amazing.

  3. Hi Tara and Elise — thanks for sharing your stories about your amazing kids. I think doctors have a hard time wrapping their minds around the wondrous things our children can do, yet it’s even harder for them to accept that the children themselves are actually responsible for the progress they make. It’s easier and more comfortable for them to acknowledge the parent’s role than the child’s role. Hopefully with all of us cheering for our kids we can change that perception!

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