I’ve been thinking hard about how each of us go through the stages of acceptance and have realized that Cathy and I have gotten to the level of where we really don’t think too much anymore about the situation we’ve been put in, and are in the frame of mind where we tend to take each day as it comes. Sure, there are times when we wonder why we’ve been dealt the WHS card, but all in all, we’ve come to accept our fate and make the best of it.

Of course, in making the best of it, we like to see things for what they are and try to laugh and smile about events that would normally have been tough for us to deal with a few years ago. So, I’ve compiled a short list of the benefits of having a WHS child. This list may not be found as being humorous to all, so be forewarned! I’ve been accused of sticking my neck out in the past, and this is no different. So, I apologize in advance for those that may not find this as entertaining as it is intended to be, but know that we love Kendall more than anything and have obviously embraced WHS (web site, fund raisers, awareness) to its fullest. So, sit back, think out of the box and open your mind. We have done just this and have decided to enjoy what WHS has brought to our lives.

  1. There is Always a Happy Person in the House. When the mood is somber, or a family member is down on their luck, a WHS child is always there to bring happiness to the home. WHS children are consistent in their mood and always seem to be jolly in sickness or in health. A smile is easily generated and happiness is abound.
  2. Simplicity Puts Everything Into Perspective. Since there is little complexity to what WHS children do, their actions remain simple; putting life into perspective. When we look at the behaviors of our WHS children, how they do it and why they do it, we realize that our complex lives and the drama we create are far less important in life than the accomplishments that our WHS achieve every day. WHS children make us smell the roses.
  3. Humor is Found in All Kinds of New Ways. Normal developmental accomplishments to us are taken for granted in non-WHS children. They way Kendall learns, talks and walks at times has us in a state of hysteria. She also seems to get herself in situations that she doesn’t understand, which of course we find humorous.
  4. You Get to Relish in the Stages of Growth for 3 Times the Length. Our 21 month old daughter is running developmental circles around Kendall, who is approaching 3 1/2. The stages of development have slowed, and enjoying the phases that other children fly through has given us some unanticipated enjoyment. How many times do you hear yourself saying “they grow up too fast?”. No longer the case with a WHS child!
  5. You get to Avoid the “Empty Nester” Label. Well, this is not quite what we’ve planned, but we’re assured (to some degree of course) that Kendall will be around the house for a longer than expected period of time. We’re not too excited about some of the things that come with the situation, but we know that Kendall will always be there to take in a movie or go on a vacation with us. We’ll be able to avoid all of those psychological outcomes that go with this labeling…
  6. Parking at the Mall is no Longer an Issue. We are the least lazy people I know, but we went and got the handicap parking placard anyways! Initially, it was difficult managing all of the stuff needed to care for Kendall, but as she grows, we justify our need for the placard by telling ourselves that “we deserve it, we’ve been through enough already!”
  7. You Have an Exotic Bird without having an Exotic Bird! After we had just moved into our new home, we had a number of contractors still working on various items around the house. Kendall, figuring her way through the English language, was attempting to express her feelings by displaying a continuous ‘squawking’ noise. At one point, one contractor asked another if we owned an exotic bird, not knowing that a WHS child was in the home. We found it quite amusing.
  8. Beauty and Purity are Never in Absence. At the lowest common denominator, purity is a function of all life forms in their infancy. Of course, our children quickly grow out of their pure state and pick up behaviors and feelings of hate, anger and deception. Not WHS kids! Kendall retains her purity intact to this day and her love and beauty never subside. Sure, she has times where she decides to haul off and hit you in the face, but she knows no better and deep down, she doesn’t understand that it might actually hurt.
  9. Creativity comes without Boundaries. Because our WHS children don’t quite see the world as we do, they may choose to use objects for purposes other than their intentions. On occasion, Kendall thinks that leftover containers have the same functions as the telephone. We try to laugh with Kendall in all her new ways of seeing the world.
  10. Overall Toy Expenses Decrease. No matter how many toys we buy Kendall, she finds joy in playing with things that aren’t meant to be played with. Kitchen utensils, papers, shoes and other objects become the most exciting play things in the home. Forget the room full of thousands of toys…

With a WHS child, it’s a different day, every day. Sure, we can’t say that the situation is as we planned, but in the end, there are SOME benefits. After the tears have passed and the sorrow has faded, the fun begins. All that matters is that our child is happy. We can feed off of what they bring to us and look to the bright side of the situation. We laugh every day and try to amuse ourselves with what Kendall brings to our lives. If you haven’t done so yet, give it a shot and share with everyone a top 10 of your own.

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13 Responses to Top 10 Benefits of having a Wolf-Hirschhorn Child

  1. Kristy says:

    I love this post Kevin! It is perfect. I especially love #1 and # 10. We can always get a smile and happy face out of Dylan no matter what is going on and his most favorite part of Christmas was all the wrapping paper to tear apart. 🙂

  2. this is funny. I have often thought of the “extended stages of growth/empty nest” benefit. Time does go so fast with our typical kids so why not enjoy a little delay in the process? LOVE IT.

  3. Mihaela says:

    Stop and smell the roses. That’s what Denise thought me too.

  4. Shannon says:

    Loved this post! So funny.. and true! Emma sometimes will walk up to her brother or sisters and pull their hair, I think just to hear them say, “Heeeeyyy Emma”. Then she laughs!!!

  5. Laurie says:

    Loved this! <3

  6. Leonie says:

    I love this ! Also – number 11 can be that buying a whole heap of gorgeous outfits is justified by the fact that they wont be grown out of any time soon 🙂

  7. KevinO says:

    Ha, yes! I forgot that one. Very good point. Kendall has been in the same clothes for the past 12 months at least. She’s already got her little sisters clothes lined up for her.

  8. crivera75 says:

    We often talk about number five and I am so blessed to know she will always be with me when my boys grow up and leave the house. I laughed out loud at all of them! thanks!

  9. Denise says:

    Can’t stop laughing about #6. planning on doing the same thing and saying the exact phrase to myself as I use it! Too funny!

  10. Lisa says:


  11. Renee says:

    So true! We have always said these kind of things too! And I have always said that with Olivia I don’t have to worry about teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, Texting and driving, or going to jail!!

  12. Jennifer says:

    My number 1 is the same as yours! Ethan is ALWAYS happy! My heart was broken when he had heart surgery. Ive never been so scared in all my life. I felt so helpless. I came in right after surgery and saw the most beautiful smile and heard the most gorgeous laugh! He had been through such an ordeal and is still so happy! I have learned that I make my molehills into mountains…..Ethan has shown me how to be truely happy and to take life one step at a time…don’t sweat the small stuff!

  13. Keely Absher says:

    I googled “wolf hirschhorn syndrome squawking” and this blog came up. Paige just recently found her “voice.” I loved reading this and will now be showing it to my husband. So true on all fronts!

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