Focusing on the Possibilities: Applying for a Summer Job Teaches a Lesson
My 15-year-old son, Caeleb, is looking for a summer job. We live in a small town, so his choices are limited, and many jobs require applicants to be at least 16. Part of me hopes he waits until next summer to find a job, but he is actively looking.
The allure of earning his own money is very appealing to Caeleb. He found a few job listings and told me what was available. A team member at a pizza place, a cashier at a local grocery store, a position stocking shelves, and another unloading deliveries are a few of the choices. Then I began to worry.
Caeleb’s right knee and ankle have severe joint damage, and physical work is not easy. I thought about the possibility of Caeleb being hired to help unload trucks and immediately wanted to tell him not to apply. The worried mama in me comes out, and I think about how physically hard the work could be for him. I want my son excited about possibilities, but severe hemophilia is a reality. Although he only treats twice a month and has not had regular bleeding episodes for many years, the “what if” scenarios begin to run through my mind.
What if he hurts himself? Will he begin to have bleeding episodes due to strenuous activity? What if he cannot handle the work? Will he tell me if something is wrong? Will his inhibitor make things difficult even while on Hemlibra?
As a parent of children with hemophilia, I raise the “hemophilia flag” sparingly. For example, in elementary physical education, Caeleb assisted the coach numerous times. When kids ran races or laps for a 5K, Caeleb helped keep time because he was in a wheelchair. To his very vocal disappointment, dodgeball was out of the question. And in middle school, instead of marching in the band, he played an instrument in the percussion pit.
There are some things my sons cannot do despite better treatment options, but I refuse to dwell on this. I immediately look for the possibilities. The key is to always find the possible in the impossible. As my sons get older, they face new opportunities that sometimes must be passed over.
I empower my sons. I do not want hemophilia to define them. I tell my sons that nothing is stopping them and that they can conquer the world if they pursue their dreams. Unfortunately, hemophilia sometimes gets in the way and forces a change of plans.
I do my best to help my sons figure out how to handle life’s difficulties. When hemophilia causes them to change their plans, I help them find solutions. Now that they are older, I often listen as they figure things out independently, always being an encourager. If hemophilia causes them to change or doubt their dreams, I encourage them to keep dreaming. I will eagerly listen to the evolution of their dreams.
Right now, I am glad that the most challenging scenario in Caeleb’s immediate future is determining whether or not he should apply for a particular summer job. I hope that working through these more minor issues will help him tackle the most significant matters to come.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.