Glorious Autumn

Carolyn Voisey's avatar

by Carolyn Voisey

Ah, Autumn.. the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.. and quite possibly my favourite of all the seasons. 

You really can’t beat the gorgeous colours, sounds and smells of Autumn.

I’m a gardener, so Autumn for me involves picking fruit and veg, preparing the plants for winter and making sure that all bits and bobs are put away properly.

I love going for long walks with my little lot, watching Merlin the dog bounce through all the leaves on the ground and getting utterly filthy as he discovers each and every muddy puddle..!

Autumn is also a time when I feel a slight pang of sadness, in addition to the usual feelings that all SN parents experience.

It was in Autumn that Sam was diagnosed blind.

In the grand scale of things it isn’t a big thing, but it hit me very hard. We’d suspected it for many many months, the seizures were at their most brutal and we knew there would be consequences to them, yet for some reason the knowledge that my boy really couldn’t see was utterly devastating.

 As a fan of all things Autumn, I’d have to say my favourite part of the season is the colour of the trees as they put on one last spectacular show before going dormant for the winter; I’d aways assumed that when I had children we’d all go off  on walks in the woods so we could marvel at the beauty of the trees, jump in piles of leaves and generally enjoy the beauty of nature. 

It was the loss of yet another ‘normal’ activity that made it so unbearably sad… the idea that he might never be able to see that sight hurt my very soul.

If nothing else however, having Sam has made me all the more aware that ‘normal’ is relative.

What is normal for me and mine is not normal for others and vice versa! 

Sam has worked incredibly hard to develop his vision – his visual impairment is a direct result of the chaos the seizures cause in his brain, so the actual machinery is fine as it were, but he can’t make sense of what his eyes see. And as the years have gone by, I learned that he doesn’t have to experience everything in the same way I do in order to enjoy it and be happy.

So what if we go for Autumn walks with him in his wheelchair, dog in tow, pushing him rather than walking beside him?

Does it really matter if he’s laughing at the sound of the leaves crunching under his wheels, rather than under his feet?

Does it heck.  He loves the season as much as I do, although he experiences it in a different way.. and different doesn’t have to mean worse.

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