I have said this line myself (before the birth of my first child) and I heard it said again recently by a distant family relative… ‘So long as the baby is healthy…’
It jars me a little to hear it said now.
The ‘so long as they’re healthy’ line usually follows the ‘are you going to find out if it’s a boy or a girl’ conversation. It’s a bit of cliché that people say I guess ‘…it doesn’t really matter if it’s a boy or a girl…so long as they are healthy.’
It just doesn’t sit quite right with me anymore.
It is definitely not the worst thing in the world to want health for your child! It is kind of others to wish that for your child. So long as that child is loved, cared for, supported, included and accepted if they are not healthy. Not only by the parents but by the entire family, the community and society at large.
Because… what if your child is sick, pre-mature, has a medical condition, has a disability, or suffers complications during birth. What if the baby ‘appears’ healthy at birth then develops a seizure disorder, eating disorder, anxiety disorder, any mental health disorder, or some other rare condition that nobody seems to have heard of and that only happens to 1 in 100, 000 children but that 1 is your one. What about global developmental delay, intellectual disability, bowel problems, heart disease, asthma, deafness, vision impairment, cancer.
When we hope for a healthy child do we also include in that list the desire to wish away from our adult children chronic back pain, morbid obesity, addiction to drugs and alcohol, STD’s, AIDS, bi-polar, dementia, engagement in criminal activity…
You get my drift…
Not many of us have or live completely healthy lives from start to finish…completely free from all ailments and afflictions. Infact “ health” seems to be the biggest spectrum of all, one that we all sit somewhere along.
Maybe we would be better off saying to our pregnant loved ones what I say to myself given that my beloved first born son has autism and that I am now pregnant with my second. ‘Now that I am having another child …it doesn’t ultimately matter what the issues are…because I love this child…I will do my very best to care for my child whatever his or her struggles (health or otherwise) may be… it will not be a disappointment if my child does not turn out how others might have envisioned… because I will love this child…my child…no matter what.’
Just the way I love my son. With my whole heart.