Monday, March 19, 2012

Bragging Rights

I found this blog ( and there was an entry I just had to share. It's about being a mother of a child with learning disabilities while hanging out with other moms. We thought it was funny... ENJOY!

Bragging Rights for My Child with Learning Disabilities

Ever get up caught in one of those conversations with fellow parents–at a school function or family gathering–where everyone is bragging about their children? Bragging about our kids is supposed to be fun, right?

I ask because I’m still trying to figure out the fun part. Here’s a general idea of how these conversations typically play out for me. I smile, nod, and listen to the other parents. They say things like: My daughter is 2 grade levels ahead in math; My son speaks 3 languages; My daughter just won the tennis tournament…for the fourth year in a row; My son saved 2 hump back whales last summer while we were sailing across the Atlantic [Okay, I’m exaggerating for dramatic effect]; My dog started his own organic rawhide business and made us millions [complete fabrication...for dramatic effect].

I quickly realize I am out of my league and I need to escape the conversation, stat. I don’t want to be too abrupt. I need to look natural. So as I slowly back away from the group, I throw in a, “Wow, what an amazing kid.” [And that dog–just phenomenal] Just as my statement trails off, all eyes are suddenly on me. I want to say, “No, no, no. I appreciate you offering me a turn to boast about my wonderful kid, but I’ve got to scoot.”

I don’t say that. Against my better judgement, I proceed to brag. As I do, I  unleash a plague of crickets and bring the once lively conversation to a screeching halt.

“Well”, I say, “My Kid recently made intermittent eye contact during a conversation!” [Hmm. They don't seem impressed. I wasn't going to mention this next one because I didn't want to be such a braggart, but fine.] “My Kid also recently paddled a canoe!” [No reaction. Clearly they are just confused.] “That means My Kid crossed his mid-line from right to left without switching hands!” [crickets begin chirping here] “That means the neurons between the right and left brain hemispheres are growing and connecting!” [crickets now out in FULL force]

As a parent of a child with learning disorders, hangin’ with the parents of “the typicals” can sometimes be awkward. While I can proudly say that My Kid is thoughtful, intelligent, resilient, and funny, my bragging rights are, for now, very different. Until that changes, I think I just need to work on my exit strategies.

No comments: