The part of Lucy’s syndrome that says “obesity” scares us.
And it’s not just that it’s harder to find clothes that fit or that bigger kids may have a little tougher time socially. Some people look at me like I’m from outer space when I tell them I’d rather not let her eat those goldfish crackers or partake in that cupcake piled high with two inches of frosting. One friend even said “oh how can you deprive that sweet girl of an ice cream sundae??” when Lucy didn’t even know there was such a thing.
But those people haven’t seen the effects of that ominous word “obesity” on adults with the syndrome. Dave and I have observed grown-ups with BBS who have all kinds of health problems including diabetes and joint problems and heart problems all related with the fact that this darn syndrome confuses the bejebes out of those poor metabolism rates.
Because of that, we have worked pretty tirelessly to change our whole family eating habits. And do you know what? We fail pretty much every day. Because it is hard work, I tell you. Especially when you have four older children who are thoroughly entrenched in habits that come along when you aren’t incessantly worried about weight and syndromes and when you live in a society that bases so much around food. But we try our very best much to those older childrens’ chagrin, and their friends too, who’s eyes fill with pity for our poor children when they take a look at what kinds of food line our pantry shelves, and then decide “maybe we should go to so-and-so’s house” (the one with all the good snacks).
But food is obviously not the only thing that affects weight. The right exercise is so important. The problem is that Lucy doesn’t like to run around as much as other kids and she can’t quite coordinate those legs enough to pedal a bike.
So we have found what we feel is the best “sport” for her:
Swimming.…and she is becoming a “superstar” one.
And I have to give a shout-out to the place where she takes her lessons, Aqua-Tots, because honestly I don’t know if she would have stuck with it so long if it wasn’t for how incredible they are to her there. They have taught her SO much. Every coach greets her with a smile and golden patience, even if she’s being obstinate and naughty once in a while. I also LOVE that they are so flexible with her classes and make-ups when I have a day like this and can’t get there.
Oh man, I could gush on and on. Because when you have a girl like Lucy, a place like Aqua Tots comes close to making you cry out of gratitude with how much they are teaching her. And really, how much they are changing her life. I know that sounds dramatic, but if we can teach this girl how to enjoy being active and having something active she is good at, maybe we can skip some of the heartbreak health problems so many with her syndrome have to deal with in the future.
So, thank you, Aqua Tots, for helping Lucy become a smiling “superstar” swimmer. We love you forever.