In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Andrew: "I hate those.  I want to rip them down."

Me:  "What? What do you hate?"

Andrew:  "THOSE!" pointing to the kitchen wall, where all of the proud homework, drawings, and school accolades are pasted. 

I scan the offensive material.  Sammy's name is on half of them.  Aaron's name is on the other half.  There is even one up there for me.

Andrew:  "I want to rip them down!"

Me:  "Do you want to have some pictures up there too?  Do you want to go to preschool too? And make some pictures?"

Andrew: (silence)

Me:  "Do you want to draw some pictures right now, and put them up there?"

Andrew:  "How do they color so good?  I can't color."

Me: "They are older than you buddy! They've had more practice. You color great!"

Andrew:  "No.  I don't."

Me:  "You do!  But is there something else you want me to put up there?"

Andrew: "no."

I am the first born of three.  I never even considered that Andrew would feel inferior, or less than, or judge himself by his brothers abilities, at least, not yet.  (He has also been jumping off playground structures, because his brothers are doing it and he is trying to prove himself  "big"!  He actually hurt his foot last weekend and is still slightly limping.)

I think this is where I am supposed to post my solution to this issue, but I'm not sure what the solution is. I will add some pictures of him to the collage, and continue to encourage him to color (despite his perceived deficiencies(!) ) and tape whatever he does to the kitchen wall.  But I'm wondering if I should do something more?

I was considering putting up a big potty training chart with his name on it, and giving him a sticker to put up every time he uses it, you know, kill two birds with one stone... because, yes, we are still working on that.   I suggested it, but he didn't act very excited (surprise!). 

Any suggestions from you younger siblings out there?

Did you hate "Those!" too?


  1. Awwww what a sweetie -- trying to grow up so fast!

  2. I'm the oldest, so I don't really know how he feels, but I think you're on the right track. Adding his accomplishments to everyone else's should help. And continuing to encourage him to do the things that he likes best. I know that I've often told the younger ones when they didn't feel "as good as" that they were just younger and the older ones had more practice. (Now saying all that... we're off to riding lessons where my older daughter is getting a bit frustrated because Julia is doing as well or better than her in some aspects. So it goes both ways, I guess.)

  3. okay so that is precious. I was the oldest, but I do know that my younger siblings hated "THOSE" as well. I think you're on the right track. Can you sign him up for like, Little Gym or something? You know, something the older one's don't do?
    I like his ambition though. Like I said, PRECIOUS!

  4. Youngest here! And I know exactly where he is coming from. I remember sending a text to a friend of mine my freshman year, feeling worthless because I was not as smart or athletically gifted as my siblings. It's a hard thing to overcome, but I have to say I've learned to love being the youngest. My suggestion would be getting him involved in something unique to his personality, or learn something together that his brothers don't know much about (so you can teach them). I've grown up loving horses my entire life, and I'll never forget the day (I was about 7) when one of my siblings asked me a question about that had something to do with horses. I don't remember the question, but I DO remember feeling proud, smart and needed because I had a knowledge of something they didn't and I've remembered that day for the past 11 years! It's not conceit, it's just nice knowing you have a worth and a place in the family. As for everyday, remind him of what makes him different and special from his brothers and continue to tell him that his accomplishments don't change his worth or how much you love him. Hope this helps!

    ~Hayley DeForest

  5. Predicament ... Wow, that's a big word. (Go, Aaron!) And go, Julie, for intuiting what Andrew was feeling and meaning. Being an only child, I don't have any advice, except to say keep on keeping on. =>

  6. When my youngest made her first little craft at MOPS, I made a big deal out of it and we hung in on the refrigerator and showed Daddy. I think part of what made it special for her was that she made it somewhere else, without Mommy! She felt more like her big sister, who was making things at preschool.

    I think the potty chart is also an awesome idea, and hang it up anyway even if it doesn't seem to excite him. Then, sneakily tell his brothers to praise him on the stickers he gets. Praise from an older sibling goes a long way!

  7. I'm the oldest too. I think there are pros and cons no matter what your birth order is. Don't stress about it too much. You're an excellent mama for even thinking about it. :)

  8. I think the potty chart is a great idea! I put up JDaniel's Sunday school sheets too.

  9. I'm an oldest, too. I vividly remember my little sister counting school pictures of us around the house and getting SO MAD that there were more of me than of her---but I had a 7-year head start!

    About the coloring thing, sounds like my little perfectionist who refused to color, draw, etc, until she finally felt like what she produced was up to her high standards...Maybe he would like his finger-painting attempts, or maybe making pictures by stamping hand and finger prints on paper?


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