There is a lot of “no” in a house where hemophilia lives. While I would like to think that myself and my husband have been good about keeping an upbeat and positive attitude around our son, Jackson, I can’t help but wonder if maybe a little negativity has seeped through. Or maybe the negativity was self-induced knowing what he sees his friends doing and knowing he might not be able to do that. It could also be from being sidelined with a bleed and not having peers understand or question why you missed a day of school when “you look fine – you must be faking.”
We noticed this negative attitude several years ago and have really made an effort to redirect it by replacing a negative thought with a positive thought almost as soon as Jackson said it. This past August I took Jackson for his yearly check up with his primary care physician. Jackson’s PCP is very personable and takes the time to listen and talk to him. In the duration of our visit, bedtime routines became the topic of conversation. The PCP suggested keeping a gratitude journal and writing three things he is grateful for that day at bedtime.
I was skeptical but figured why not give it a try. That night I found a regular composition notebook and as Jackson was getting into bed, I asked him what three things he was grateful for that day. He came up with two after some thought and then I suggested that a freebie can always be his family. He agreed and that night we had our three! The next night we did the same routine. I am happy to report that Jackson has recorded three grateful items six days a week since Aug. 20!
Jackson sharing his three grateful items has been a way for us to talk about the day’s events as he winds down for bed. It allows us to connect for a few minutes and be thoughtful about our day as our lives start getting a little busier now. Sometimes we look back at the past journal entries to see what he shared and talk about them.
Has keeping a gratitude journal cured his negative attitude completely? No. But his attitude has softened. It has given us time together and a chance for him to open up and share and for that I am grateful!
Jen lives in Ohio with her husband, Joe, and their three children: Evelyn, Nora and Jackson.
Note: “Infusing Love: A Mom’s View,” is a blog collection of personal opinions and a representation of individuals experiences. While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content, the blog entries do not represent HFA or its Board of Directors. The blog is also not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.