Bathe in it

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by Chris Mobley

Bathe in it.

Take it in for all its worth and then do it some more.

Smiles are a commodity in our house. 

If they could truly be traded for the value they deserve we would be filthy rich by all worldly standards.

It has been two long years since we have regularly seen our son smile, laugh and have an outward enjoyment of life.

Medicines, seizures, increased meds, more seizures. Loss of appetite, loss of coordination and strength have defined the low moments and have served as markers of the passing time.  

Recently, with some help from some more friendly laws where we live and access to better treatment for his seizures, we have started to gain some predictability about seizure patterns. 

With that, we have been able to decrease the amount of pharmaceutical medicine that has had terrible developmental side effects.

The smiles are still not everyday or even every week. 

But when they come… what a great day it turns in to!

As parents, as the parents of special needs child we view life in different perspective. 

It’s like we see the world in alternate wavelength.

We smile, people smile back we move along. 

We walk on down the sidewalk, pass down the hallway and move on with our daily lives. 

When my son smiles, the world stands still. 

Time freezes. 

Even if I just get to see it in a picture from my wife while I am at work or away from home, the rest of world no longer matters and I lose myself in the glorious and miraculous joy of that moment.

I only have but so many chances in life to see that smile.  

I dare not skirt passed one of them without paying appropriate homage. 

We must, we are not able to afford the typical amount of half-attention that we have to show towards our daughter as she accomplishes the simplicities of daily life.

By nature of this heightened attention we found ourselves celebrating with extra excitement her early achievements. 

Since our son is the oldest, we had no idea what the typical accomplishments of a progressing child looked like first-hand in our growing family.

If you’re new to being part of the cool club that is being a special needs parent or if you’ve been at it so long you’ve forgotten how awesome it really is, remember the joy you feel when your child does the simple, every day, and truly amazing feats that the rest of do in our sleep. 

Take that excitement and level of attention to the rest of your life. 

Notice the simple joys that surround you. 

See the smile on a passing stranger’s face and recall the complexities of neurological function and muscle coordination involved in this simple act. 

Smile back and soak in the glory of the gift of that smile.

You have a unique opportunity in your life as it is laid before you. 

You don’t have to drastically alter your life’s pattern to the extremes. 

You already know what living more simply looks like. 

You experience it every time your child accomplishes the tasks of life.

What does your appreciation of simplicity look like?

Our son smiled this week.

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