I did a thing today that I’m really proud of, and it’s not just that I finally put away the “happy fall” pumpkin that’s been hanging in my kitchen since last September. Today, I advocated for my son about something that happened last July.
We had a negative experience over the summer with a doctor at our pediatrician’s office. She was energetic and enthusiastic, but she was a terrible listener. Her passion was palpable, but she didn’t know anything about our journey. She had a lot to say, but she wasn’t curious. She had a lot of answers, but she didn’t ask any questions.
She had no idea she was talking to an eleven-year-old boy and his mom.
I failed to stop her in the moment, and I failed to protect my son (and myself) from her words. I was flustered, confused, and caught off guard. It happens. With doctors, it’s especially hard. They’re experts, after all.
It took my son two months to open up about the trauma her words caused, and it took me another six to process my shame, guilt, and anger for letting it happen and to do something about it.
Today, I spoke to the head of our pediatric practice to share our experience so, hopefully, it won’t happen again. I advocated for my son so he can learn to advocate for himself, and I advocated for myself so I will always remember that as my child’s mother, I’m an expert, too.
Do I wish I’d acted sooner? Of course. But it’s never too late to put the pumpkin away.