Time Passes Quickly, but the Results Are Beautiful
When my kids were little, people reminded me to enjoy my children because they would be in college before I knew it. I never thought much about that sentiment. With both of my sons living with severe hemophilia, I felt like I was going from one thing to the next without much thought about how fast life was moving. Bleed after bleed, hospitalization after hospitalization, from school plays to spelling bees, life has always been packed with one thing after another.
Last week, my 16-year-old son, Caeleb, and I went to the hematologist. Memories flood my mind when I walk into the clinic. I remember him toddling around playing with trains and dinosaurs at his appointments. I can vividly see him walking around wearing an IV board, keeping his vein access intact, as if everyone should have the same board in place.
At this visit, Caeleb stands 5-foot-11, towering over every provider who entered the room. (He’s a bit disappointed he hasn’t reached 6 feet.) His deep voice charms the staff, and his personality shines through. When the doctor asks to see his latest artwork, Caeleb whips out his sketchbook and shares his latest creations. It gives me great comfort that his providers have such a long history with my son.
After years of advocating for Caeleb, I find it challenging to sit back and let him answer the questions. He does a great job responding to his doctor. Sometimes he’ll answer hesitantly and look over at me for reassurance. But I realized I only have two years to be his advocate officially.
Of course, I’ll always advocate for my sons regardless of age, but this appointment hit me differently. For the first time, I felt like the outsider in the room. No longer does the doctor look to me for the answers. Caeleb is responsible for his body and his answers. I’m simply there for moral support.
Caeleb amazed me by how confident and self-assured he was during his appointment. He asked great questions and talked about the struggles he continues to have with pain. I sat back, beaming with pride. I guess the lessons along the way have made a difference.
While I’m looking to the horizon to see my youngest son make plans to attend college, I’m not sure it’s hit me that he’s close to leaving the nest. Please understand that I’m thrilled at the idea of becoming an empty nester; it just seems like it’s happening too fast.
For all the parents who warned me that time passes quickly, I now get it. I’d give anything to have a few more days with my sons as 4- and 5-year-old boys, but standing back and seeing the men they are becoming is worth every minute.
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.