Raising the Helpers

What happened in Boston sucks. People died. People got hurt; lost limbs. People are scared. And it’s because we’re mean to each other. I mean, not you and me – we’re nice. But people in general. They are mean, it seems. And every time something like this happens, it makes me realize how important it will be for us to raise Jax and his generation of baby buddies to be nice.

I’m sure the parents of the people or person who planted those bombs did not wake up one day and say “Hey – I have a great idea! Let’s raise our child to  have a blatant disregard for life! Let’s teach them to be mean! Let’s show them how to hurt others!” But I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that they also didn’t intentionally say “Hey – let’s show our child(ren) how to be nice. Let’s teach them compassion, and empathy, and respect. And let’s show them how by doing these things in our daily life.”

Maybe this is controversial – but I don’t think people are just born bombers! OK – so yes I know there are people who are born with mental illnesses that hinder their ability to feel empathy or realize the consequences of their actions. But are these the people who are setting off bombs in crowds of people? I don’t know…but here is what I do know…

People need to stop being so mean to each other!

I posted this saying on our Facebook page on Monday night and I think it really hits home here. After events like this bombing and Sandyhook, I’m even more determined to teach Jax to be a “helper.” I want Jax to grow up knowing what it means to be “nice guy” and that he should be proud of being one. But, how do you teach nice? If you have ideas on how to teach kids nice, please share them with us in the comments!

Mr. Rogers knew what he was talking about here... (photo source: unknown)
Mr. Rogers knew what he was talking about here… (photo source: unknown)

Jax has had a bit of a rough week fighting his first ear infection and cold, which has turned into bronchiolitis. We went into Urgent Care on Sunday because he started wheezing. With his history of Chronic Lung Disease, we have been taught to go in at the first signs of respiratory distress, so we didn’t waste any time. (Luckily, he does not have RSV.) He’s been prescribed nebulizer treatments which seem to help him breathe easier.

Today, we had an appointment with his pulmonologist. (It was a standing appointment that we’ve had on the calendar for a while.) She confirmed the bronchiolitis and gave us an “action plan” for his next illness.  We will watch his next cold and see if it progresses into “viral induced wheezing” again. If it does, we will give a steroid neb treatment immediately to help with the inflammation in his lungs.

Jax’s lungs are not as developed as other 9 month old lungs. His history of prematurity and the fact that he spent 36 days on a ventilator and 100 days on other oxygen support means that his alveoli (the tiny air sacs in the lungs) did not grow properly. These air sacs are in the process of healing but they won’t be “completely” healed until Jax is about 2 years old. That’s why any upper respiratory infection or illness, while “no big deal” to a full term baby, can be a big deal for Jax.

But, even thought he’s been sick, he’s still his usual smiley self. Awesome milestone this week: Jax laughed for the first time! I’m not talking about a little chuckle, I’m talking about a full-on belly laugh! It was hilarious and so much fun! We feel so thankful to have him in our lives. He’s a happy, content, and friendly child. You’d never know by looking at him that he was born more than 4 months early!

So, while we’re sad for the people affected by the bombings, we are taking extra time today to be nice to each other. I think this is a good way to react to the tragedy – we’re not dwelling on the bad, instead we’re intentionally focusing on the positive pieces of life. And we’re doing that by laughing full-on belly laughs!

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