Hail to the Mighty Junior: My Son Is Well Equipped for the New School Year

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by Joe MacDonald |

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Earlier this week, I stopped the car and let my youngest son, Caeleb, out for his first day as a junior in high school. I looked at him and told him that I loved him and that this year could be the start of something extraordinary. His laugh let me know that he felt a little nervous, but he stepped out of the car to embrace the challenges of a new school year.

As he walked away, I felt a surge of hope flood over me, as we’d prepared all summer for this moment. Unfortunately, due to multiple joint bleeds, my son experiences horrible bouts of pain in his right ankle and knee. To combat the uncomfortable pain, Caeleb regularly attends physical therapy sessions to help strengthen the muscles surrounding his joints, especially in the areas where he experiences the most complications.

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It appears that, through his work over the summer, my son discovered the necessary tools to overcome adversity. Because he’s responded so well to physical therapy, my wife and I will have him continue with it. Finally, equipped with tools to help him manage the effects of joint bleeds, Caeleb may look forward to a great year, free of any remnants of episodes that left him hospitalized for months.

Ensuring success

While sitting in the car, we talked about the strategies for success we developed over the summer to ensure a great school year. He has a full schedule on his plate and looks forward to his classes.

One exciting course he enrolled in is biometric sciences. The reason he finds the subject matter attractive is due to hemophilia. He even told me, “Dad, no one else enrolled has the experience I do of dealing with a chronic illness.” I praised him for being brave enough to take a class with so much weight.

Reflecting on our intentional summer preparations for the new school year, one word I keep hearing in my head is “equipped.” I asked myself, “How can I best prepare my son to do his best work, or more importantly, live his best life?” While he must do the work, I can equip him with everything possible to ensure his success.

My role as a mentor and cheerleader must find its way into his soul. He must carry the lessons my wife and I have shared with him over the years to become the man he is capable of being. He’s received fantastic instructions from teachers, parents, doctors, nurses, and the many friends he enjoyed throughout his younger years. He stands on our shoulders to lead the way into a promising future.

As my son walked from the car into the school, I felt a sense of pride watching a mighty warrior return to battle. This time, however, many things appeared different than they did in years past. He carries himself with assurance, ready to leave his mark on the world. I said a quick prayer: “God, I hope I did enough to give him a fighting chance in the world.” For now, he must learn to walk the journey through life on his own two feet. Maybe he heard enough from us to chart a course to happiness.

Good luck, my mighty warrior Caeleb! May your strength of spirit and heart propel you to a fantastic world of happiness. The journey toward wholeness starts with your first steps out of the car and into life. This father reminds you to be grateful and joyful as you walk your path.

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.


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