posted by Momo Fali on April 7, 2010

My son was having trouble falling asleep last night. His room was hot, as it usually is, after having the sun shine through his window most of the day, so I told him to climb into my bed where there was enough of a cross-breeze to keep him comfortable.

I lied next to him and watched him drift off. After a few moments of sleeping peacefully, he experienced that sensation of falling where you gasp and your entire body jumps. Then he settled into his pillow and dozed off for the night.

That sensation is called a hypnic jerk and my son used to experience them a lot when he was young, especially when he was sick. And, he was sick all the time.

In the mere seconds it took for his body to jolt, my mind traveled from watching a typical kid going to sleep, to the very ill child I used to know. His hypnic jerk not only shook his body, but shook my memory as well.

I thought of the heart monitor that went off constantly and the sound of him gasping for breath as his nasal passages filled with the contents of his stomach. I remembered watching him play with toys in a hospital crib, three hour long appointments with neonatologists and geneticists and him crying in pain because we just couldn’t get his meds right.

I thought of him weighing 13 pounds on his first birthday and how his GI doctor was this close to putting him back on tube feeds because of it. I remembered therapy sessions where he didn’t do anything but lie there because he simply didn’t have the energy to do anything else.

I thought of his heart diagnosis, his surgeries, and his struggles with eating, crawling, walking and talking.

I remembered everything.

I was reminded that all of those things are deep inside the boy I know now. He is tough, yet parts of his body are still weak. He is strong, but he is very small. He is smart, but still talks like a three year old. He is healthy, for now.

Although his struggles are much easier than they once were, he still faces an uphill battle each and every day.

I needed to be reminded of that; to know that he tries his best and has to work twice as hard as an average kid. I have been trying so hard to make him typical that I have forgotten that he, quite simply, isn’t.

My son is different. He is one of a kind and I wouldn’t want him any other way, even though I forget that sometimes. He is a challenge, but that makes his accomplishments all the more special. I needed to be reminded of how far he has come.

Thanks for the jolt, buddy.


  • Melisa with one S

    I love this post. (and I love that kid) (and I love you)

    He is SO special. You're very lucky. 🙂

  • Allison

    Awwwww…it sounds like he's one heck of a special kid. It's the one-of-a-kind people that make this world go 'round. You're both very lucky to have each other!!


  • UP

    When I think of the wonderful and special blessing my children have brought to my life, I'm overcome with emotion. Every moment, even the ones that ended in me yelling or being terrified or worried are precious and priceless.

    Excellent post.


  • UP

    When I think of the wonderful and special blessing my children have brought to my life, I'm overcome with emotion. Every moment, even the ones that ended in me yelling or being terrified or worried are precious and priceless.

    Excellent post.


  • Jodi

    This was beautiful Momo. Sometimes we all need a little jolt to remember.


  • Ironic Mom

    Like Jodi said, I think you and your little guy – through this post – have given many of us a jolt.

    Beautifully said.

  • Kori

    You are pretty dang amazing, you know? He must get it from you.

  • Sadia

    Oh, Momo, you're an amazing mother. And he's an amazing kid, who's come so very far.

  • Amy

    Love to you both. What an amazing post and what an amazing kid.

  • Always Home and Uncool

    That was a beautiful and brace post, D.

  • Lisa@verybusymomwith4

    Awesome post!!! I am in awe of your strength!

  • anya

    Wow. Not only is your and your son's journey inspirational, but you wrote this beautifully. You certainly gave this Mom a jolt too.

  • Corey~living and loving

    this is a wonderfully moving post. thanks for sharing it.

  • Heather

    You definitely have an awesome and special son. You are blessed, and you know it, which makes it even better. He truly is an awesome kid.

  • Irish Gumbo

    Thank you both for the jolt. I'm going to go hug my daughter.

  • Wendy

    Beautifully written and a wonderful reminder to us all of the gifts that we are given in disguise.

  • meleah rebeccah

    Since I am tearing up too much over here to construct a better comment, all I can say is DITTO to what Melisa with one S said.

  • Maureen

    You're an awesome writer.

    And an even more awesomer mom.

  • Mrs. Schmitty

    We need those jolts every once in a while

  • sharon

    Your jolt left me with tears in my eyes. And it helped give me a little jolt too. Sometimes I take my special guy for granted – I needed that. Thank you.

  • sharon

    Kids teach us so much.

  • WeaselMomma

    He is one amazing heart thief of a kid.

  • ZDub

    You are a damn god mom, lady.

    I can't even imagine what you've gone through.


  • mrsmouthy

    Thank you for the jolt too, Momo Fali. I get stressed out to the point of needing to see my therapist over the fact that my 4-year-old doesn't know how to swim and can't write his name and I know it is the stupidest stuff ever to worry about. Your post helps me take it to heart though.

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