Monday, May 4, 2009

A Dad's Dream

Although Gideon's stroke was a perinatal stroke, his diagnosis wasn't until he was nearly 10 months old, a few weeks before his first Christmas. It was such a difficult time for my husband and I. Not only were the implications of the stroke an unknown but we were grieving the loss of hopes and dreams. Gideon is our third child but our only boy. I can remember Christmas shopping for him and my husband and and I running our hands over footballs and gently fingering baseball gloves with tears in our eyes. We watched other parents picking out bikes and scooters and wondered and worried if Gideon would ever do any of these things. It's like having your feet pulled right out from under you. The fog of an unknown future and feeling so helpless is mind numbing.

Gideon is now six and he has right sided hemiplegia. As the years have passed he's had some remarkable accomplishments. Walking by 13 months, running, jumping off of picnic tables to scare the life out of me and more recently, riding a scooter he got for his birthday. The greatest accomplishment to date, and I emphasize to date because I'm sure there will be many more to come, was what we for some strange reason were holding our breath for. Perhaps it's the quintessential boy and his dad thing that we had envisioned when he was born. Gideon wanted a baseball and bat. I was hesitant because I think I was more worried about me not dealing well with his lack of success than in him being frustrated or incapable. As soon as the weather broke and he could go outside without getting covered in mud he pulled out the ball and bat and headed for the yard. I stood in the window watching him, not wanting to get involved and try and teach him to do something I didn't even know how to do and I let him try figure it out on his own. To my surprise he found a way to grip the handle in his right hand and rest the bat in the crook of his left elbow. He held th ball in his left hand, threw it into the air and quickly grabbed the bat with his left hand and swung away. HE DID IT!! He was able to hit the ball and he's getting good at it.

I've heard so many stories of people with disabilities who accomplish amazing things and I hope for my son that he'll be as successful. I worry every day that he won't but I have that same worry for all of my children. I see over and over again that despite Gideon's stroke and his limitations, that he really has no more limitations than the rest of us.

Gideon's mom

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this. My husband loves sports and played basketball for many years. Everytime I see a sporting event on TV I get teary because I don't know if he will ever do those things. He is six months old and had has stroke when he was 2 months old. So much is up in the air right now and there is so much that we don't know. Your story is inspiring.