Unlocking Potential – Diddy’s Story
A few months back, my wife and I were talking before bed. She wasn’t herself, she seemed down. It was one of those days for her. One of those days is when she couldn’t help but notice all the things other kids do that hers doesn’t. One of those days where she felt like the outsider parent because her kid is different. The comparison game is a slippery slope, before you know it you are “wadding in a puddle.” Wadding in a puddle is a term her therapist uses to describe these days. My wife isn’t lost forever, she’s just in a different place for the moment.
As I listened to her, I looked down at the bright green bracelet I wear on my right wrist. Our son Diddy is 2 years old. I know all parents feel this way but he’s the greatest kid in the world. His joy and happiness are unrelenting. His smile and laugh melt my heart. He lives the way we were meant to live.
Tuesday June 11th 2013 was a day I will never forget. I was home for lunch, finishing up an email. My phone buzzed in my pocket and I saw it was my wife. When I answered the phone, all I could hear was uncontrollable sobbing and inaudible screaming. I have never heard my wife like this. I feared the worst. I thought she was in a terrible accident. I made out the words “genetic testing”, “intellectual disability” and “Target parking lot.” I immediately got in my car and drove to her.
I spotted her car in the far end of the parking lot, isolated with no other cars nearby. My wife was down in the passenger side floor board, crying her heart out. The 15 minute drive home was surreal. The only word said was “why” in between sniffles and sobs. I honestly thought I lost my wife, I didn’t know if we were ever going to be the same. The truth is that we were never going to be the same.
The days that followed were extremely difficult for my family. We spent hours researching this rare genetic condition called PTLS. We had some of the biggest fights we have ever had. I hugged my wife when she didn’t want to be hugged. I prayed with my wife when she didn’t want to pray. Is this what a family falling apart looks like?
Less than one year later, the diagnosis seems like a lifetime ago. My family has come so far in that time. Don’t get me wrong, our life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns but I wouldn’t want it any other way. My wife continues to be one of the most courageous people I know. Our son continues to amaze us. We have been connected to some great people in the PTLS community who helped us more than they will ever know.
It’s funny, I don’t necessarily wear my bright green PTLS bracelet for other people. I wear it as a reminder to myself. When I look at the imprinted “unlocking potential”, I think of how Diddy has unlocked mine. He doesn’t see what I can and cannot do, he just sees me for who I really am. He sees the greatness in me regardless of my imperfection. As you work towards unlocking your child’s potential, allow them to unlock yours.