The Lessons Our Son Taught Us One Day at the Pool

Joe MacDonald avatar

by Joe MacDonald |

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My wife and I sat by the pool and watched our 3-year-old super fish glide through the water. The skill he displayed with a set of floaties wrapped around his arms took our breath away. Our son became one with the water as he swam across the bright blue surface. Life couldn’t get any better for him, for he had found a couple of children his own age playing in the shallow end.

My family was on vacation at one of our favorite resorts. The chaos of the school year had finally ended, and now we could unwind. Lounging by a watering hole on a hot summer’s day, mom, the little fish in the pool, and I seemed to agree that we had made the right choice.

As my wife and I sat back in reclining chairs, I could hear Mr. Mac’s voice as he found a friend. We chuckled as a little blond girl started speaking to my son. They were discussing the most profound life issues when suddenly, I heard the girl ask, “What is that?” as she pointed to the port in my son’s chest.

My wife and I didn’t know what to do. We thought that he was unprepared for this question. However, our son answered the girl’s question with, “Oh, that’s just my port.” She replied, “Oh, cool.” And then they both began to play again.

I know that my initial response is to protect my son from questions about hemophilia. He was only 3 years old at that time. I had thought that he wouldn’t have to deal with comments from other children until later.

I learned that day that my son had what he needed to help himself. At 3 years old, he could verbally express what a port was. There was no need to get excited. The lessons he had mastered as a toddler would be the foundation of his experiences as a teenager and eventually as an adult.

Maybe he learned these lessons from his parents. However, it seems as if there is something hardwired in his DNA to live with his bleeding disorder. From wherever the source of his strength comes, I learned something from our fantastic fish, in that pool, at that very hot resort that summer’s day.


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 Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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