My toddler, Cittie, recently got a new tricycle. She took to it instantly, although she couldn’t reach the pedals yet.
The trike has a long attachment that allows us to take turns driving her around the house. Cittie was content to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Now she often asks us at random times, “Bike?”
I’m pleased that my husband, Jared, was mature about getting our daughter a tricycle. I often shared with him that in the past, I enjoyed biking a great deal. When I was in college, I bought a bike to ride around campus.
Jared never learned how to ride a bike because of his severe hemophilia. Because factor is scarce here in the Philippines, he couldn’t risk being injured while cycling. Additionally, trauma from biking runs in his family. Jared’s uncle nearly lost his life in a freak bike accident. He is alive but in bad condition since the accident.
It warmed my heart that Cittie was excited about her first trike. In my heart, I felt a tinge of hope that someday, my daughter and I could share a love of biking together.
A part of me feels bad that I cannot include Jared in this hobby. He reassures me that he has no interest in biking, which is a relief. Yet I still pray that he won’t feel excluded from the activities Cittie and I will do in the future.
I tell him that when the parks reopen, he can push Cittie’s trike while I bike next to them. When Cittie starts riding on her own, he can sit somewhere and watch Cittie and I zip by him on our bikes. He can take photos of us or enjoy the fresh air outdoors. That’s how I picture our family in the future, and — fingers crossed — that’s how it will be.
Cittie is growing up, and Jared and I are glad that she is a happy and healthy child. At 17 months, she has learned how to jump with both feet off the ground! She does this over and over, and while we find it amusing most of the time, we’re also concerned. What if she falls off the bed while jumping on it?
Then again, it’s not at all surprising that she’s physically gifted. Jared says sports come naturally to him, too. He thinks it’s ironic, considering he was born with hemophilia.
Jared and I constantly hope and pray that hemophilia will not get in the way of Cittie’s growth and development. The same is true with my anxiety and depression. That is why we both work on ourselves consistently. We hope to be good role models to her, even with our respective conditions.
I am blessed to see Cittie grow up to be a physically and mentally healthy child despite our conditions. Her dad and I may have struggles of our own, but they are ours. We want to make sure that she does not have to carry them, or make our problems hers.
Cittie has her own life, and we won’t take that away from her.
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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