On Dealing With Difficult Things, The Teenage Edition

My oldest son, Patrick, has a genetic disease called Neurofibromatosis. One of the markers, along with typically benign tumors that develop all over his body, is a shortened stature. Patrick is 13 years old but is in the bottom one percentile for growth. Even as a baby, he was always on the verge of falling off the growth charts and I had to constantly intervene with extra weight-gaining shakes. Though he’s a fairly healthy, active boy, he’s much smaller than his peers and some of the natural growth spurts I take for granted in my other children have been something I’ve worried about and wished for with Patrick.

Every pound that child has put onto his body has been hard won.

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