When I first got sick, I had to learn to sit on the sidelines when my friends played any active games that require working joints, or to not stay very long at birthday parties, when I needed the energy to function. Or- well, really when they acted liked teenagers. I had to learn to stand (or sit) on the sidelines with the adults.
Mind you, I enjoy talking with adults and such, but sometimes you don’t want to be the only kid watching the fun-looking game of Fastest Tagger in the West. You want to run, play, and share in the laughter and friendly competition.
A Brief Interruption: Yep, I’m interrupting myself. Nothing new 😉 . I want to take a second to thank the many friends who chose to sit to the side with me at one time or another. 🙂 Love and miss you guys!
Continued Interruption: For those of you reading this, who have a friend who has this, that is something big you can do, that makes us who have sickness very loved: play a card game instead of tag, or something. Not every time, but when you sacrifice your fun for a different fun, or to just talk with us, it means a lot.
Okay, back to what I was saying…
Ah, yes. Not being able to be a teenager, when you are a teenager, can be pretty frustrating, and humiliating, can’t it? Especially at first. The key is pretty obvious if you think about it, but also pretty difficult to learn or put into action. So what’s they key?
The key: Humility.
And patience. Patience is good too. 😉
Then there’s the other side of it all: healing from Chronic Illness and learning what it means to be a kid or teenager again, after ‘being an adult’ for so long.
A month or two ago, my family was out hiking, and snow lay on either side of the dirt road we were hiking along. My two siblings ran out into a larger section, where there were fewer trees, and ran, and laughed, dragging each other in the snow on a sled. I smiled at them, and made hand prints in the snow at my feet, on the edge of the field, where I was standing next to my mom, who was also watching my siblings and taking pictures. She looked at me.
“You don’t want to play in the snow?” she asked.
“I… I forgot I could,” I replied. (Or something along those lines).
I was so used to acting like an ‘adult’ in this situations, that I had honestly forgotten that I physically was able to play, too, now that I was doing better. I had completely forgotten to miss it, since it just wasn’t something I could have for so long.
A few weeks later, I was at the park with my family, waiting for someone, and I sat down on a swing while we waited.
Then it hit me.
I couldn’t remember the last time I had been on a swing. The same thing happened at one point with a slide. (When I was on the swing and realized that, I made sure to go really high, and then jump. 😉 )
So I ask you: are you able to do things that you automatically think you aren’t allowed to do, now? Then do them! Challenge your siblings to a game of tag! 🙂 Have fun. Enjoy what it means to be a kid as much as you can, because you, of all people, know how wonderful it is, and how sad it is to miss out on.