Our son had eye surgery last summer. It seemed like nothing to worry about. I mean, he’s had 12 brain surgeries, so what’s an eye surgery? No, I’m not going to a bad story here. It was actually a GREAT thing. I just didn’t know it at the time. I of course expected it would help him. But I was unprepared for just how much. For a kid who could have been taken off life support, (they asked if we wanted to do that after he had a stroke), he has become a pretty remarkable little guy. Despite not being able to predict his outcome, we elected not to remove life support, and it seems that each and every thing he does is incredible to us. Perhaps because we had no expectations after that initial blow.
The afternoon after his eye surgery, he commented that he was seeing ‘two daddies’. Our hearts sank as we started to panic, thinking that maybe he had double vision and would need further surgical intervention. We swallowed hard and went to the follow up appointment the next day. The doctor practically did a happy dance while explaining that this meant both eyes were working together with the brain for his vision. Say what? I had butterflies in my stomach. Of all the things this child has been through, this is the one thing that has been able to be somewhat corrected. I could hardly breathe I was so excited.
Since then, our son has made great strides, literally, in his walking, standing, and fine motor skills. Given that Cerebral Palsy does not worsen, anything he can learn and do early gives him that much more of a chance to succeed physically. But what it’s truly done is give him, well, attitude. Confident, I can do it myself, attitude. Last week as we placed him in his height chair, he insisted he could buckle the straps. It took over six minutes, but we bit our collective lips and let everyone’s stomach growl and let him do it. Today he is down to less than two minutes, and after the first ‘click’, he asks, “Should we do the next one?” I ask him if he wants help and the answer is always, “I do it!” While I want to help him, I know in my heart that both allowing him and making him do it himself is the right thing. I’ll bite a hole in my lip if I have to, to get him the confidence and independence necessary for life. His siblings wait anxiously with us as we watch him struggle each morning. Their clapping and ‘hurrays’ for him put a glow on everyone’s face. A great way to start the day for us, a great way to start life for him.
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Originally posted at Hopeful Parents.org