Wednesday, July 16, 2008

When It's Okay to Punch People in the Face

So sometimes Adam and I have these little phrases we get stuck on that we say a lot. I guess they are just like "inside jokes" between friends. And our most recent phrase is "punch you in the face." For Adam--funny guy's guy, athlete, pal, jokester--this is no problem. He says, "If you don't pick that up, I'm gonna punch you in the face" and it seems a little extreme and everybody laughs and he is just silly Adam. But when I say it, people look at me as if I have suddenly gone mad. It is just too far across that line of appropriateness for a "mother" to say I suppose, so now I guess I am doomed to boringness and smiling at my husband while he says all the funny things.

However, there are a few times when the general public might just salute a mother for punching someone in the face. For instance, a few weeks ago, we took Connor to Shriner's Hospital in Lexington. I wanted to find out if there was any additional equipment out there I didn't know about that might help him...maybe some type of wheelchair, or walker, or brace that might be helpful to him. I was thinking, "Hey, this is Shriner's Hospital. They are here specifically to help the "crippled" children. Maybe they know about something I don't." So after waiting for the doctor for 2 1/2 hours we finally see him, and I explain our whole story and what I am looking for and what does he say to me? He says that with these kids with this disease sometimes we need to "adjust our expectations" of what they are going to be able to do.

I almost had to look around to see if he was really talking to me. Was I asking for a miracle cure? Had I not been living with this diagnosis for months now? I was trying to be so practical and realistic about what might help my child, and he had to say something so negative and demeaning. I am sure he thought he was helping me face some reality, but I was so many levels past that is just wasn't even relevant or helpful--so much to the point it was quite rude.

Now you ask, was I mad enough to punch him in the face? Why yes, of course. Would it have been acceptable? If I surveyed the general public, I think even despite my "mom" status, I might have been able in that circumstance to get by with a punch in the face--especially after our long wait that he had put us and everyone else through, along with the fact that I also know I am not the first SMA family he has said that same thing to. And if not a punch, maybe just a smart slap.

But alas, I did not punch, nor did I slap. I just talk quickly with an agitated tone until I calmed down enough to talk evenly and make sense again. However, I do think maybe some people could use a good punch once in awhile--just to knock the sense back into them.

Ding! Round One--Me.