Monday, February 20, 2012

The Long View

I find myself often thinking "I wish people could see Nathan as I see him".  We neuro-nontypicals can't really be understood without "the long view".  Where we are now is much easier to tolerate and appreciate when people understand where we've come from.  In the last 72 hours, we've seen two scintillating examples of Nathan's developement.  He's come so much further than anyone dreamed.  These occurrences aren't marked "quantum leaps", but represent years of work in gradually wearing away his limitations and fears.

The boys got fillings today.  Not so long ago this was a major production.  Earlier in life, Nathan had to be put under general anesthetic for dental work.  To attempt it any other way was far too dangerous for all involved and completely out of the question.  His first pediatric dentist said he was "the strongest little boy she'd ever seen".  I distinctly remember her saying it.  She needed to look in his mouth, and he wasn't having it.  Even with me on the chair, him lying on top of me, and me doing my best to hold him so that she could sneak a quick peek.  This ended with me shouting "look quick" when I finally got the "bear cub" under control momentarily.  I had finally come to a stop with both of us upside down and the top of my head touching the floor.   Getting him to sit still for a closed-mouth, panoramic X-ray was a milestone.

He now walks in, sits down, takes the shot, and sits still for the filling.  He balks at nothing and is considered a model patient.  Dentist and wife (hygienist) adore him.  This is best for all involved.  She's about the size of his right leg, and her husband is no giant.

Since "time immemorial", Nathan has been afraid of all things hot.  This has been a HUGE issue.  We've chipped away at that one for years now.   I'm proud to say that he now cooks for himself to a large degree.  He handles the oven, microwave, and stove-top like a champ.  I decided it was time for one more push.  He grilled his first burger this weekend.  He even put his hand over the grill to feel the heat with me when I showed him it was safe.  He still approaches heat VERY tentatively, but give him time.  He'll beat this one yet.

We all benefit from the long view.  Our family takes encouragement from the memories of where we started.   Knowing where he started endows all involved a benevolent view of his current state and with the knowledge that he is never static.  One of my greatest wishes is that all who know him also had the long view.

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