Thursday, 3 May 2018

Scrappy! One Of The World's True Tough Guys

One day in early April 2008 a little guy was born who had all the odds stacked against him. He came into this world at twenty-nine (just!) weeks gestation and weighed all of 1.13 kg. He was a scrap of a thing and for the first few days that's what we called him - Scrappy.

The first sign that Scrappy was tougher than he looked came approximately twenty minutes after his birth, when the specialist NICU team looking after him phoned down to the delivery ward to confirm that the twenty-nine weeks gestation was correct. They needed to know because Scrappy was breathing unaided - something practically unheard of for a newborn of twenty-nine weeks gestation. They were told his exact gestation was 28 weeks and seven days and he'd literally just scraped into the twenty-nine week category.

Those first few months in the hospital were tough and at one point we nearly lost him but Scrappy came through it all and if there was one underlying trait he exhibited above all else it was sheer grit and pig-headed determination. The latter nearly drove me insane when it came to the terrible twos and tantrum filled threes but it got him through the toughest of times.

Scrappy No More! We Now Called Him
Sumo Baby!
Over the years he's faced other struggles - some health related and some due to the psychological after-effects of being a preemie. However, he has faced them all head-on in his signature, "just get on with it", style.

In recent months he's had to face a bully. It's been unpleasant and there's been much upset. The abuse has been emotional and physical with one incident resulting in a visit to the Emergency Room. I could easily have been that mum posting a video of my son in tears - at a loss as to the nastiness of one child to another. However, not once did Scrappy, or as he is now known - The Dude, not go to school. Not once did this child even think about shying away from yet another hurdle in his life. Instead, he listened to the guidance from me and Big Daddy and he took comfort and confidence from our support. He went and he faced the bully and not once did he stoop to this other child's tactics - no physical retaliation, no name calling, no ugly comments about his family members, no sly comments under his breath in class, nothing. Nothing that is but sheer, cold, hard-headed grit because believe me, there were times when he wanted to do any one of those things but he didn't because he knew that's exactly what the bully wanted. So, he tucked his head down and he toughed it out. I liaised with the school to sort things out and I have to say they've been excellent in their response.

Today he received an award in front of the whole school for, "having a positive attitude while persevering through difficult tasks and for being a kind and caring friend."

The Dude Receiving His Award

Lately in the world it seems as if he who shouts loudest and has the meanest things to say - the seemingly tough guy - wins. But there are others far tougher who don't need to shout, who don't need to demean another human being to make themselves feel better - they just get on with life, quietly inspiring those around them to be the better person. It was lovely today to see my son being acknowledged for being one of those true tough guys.