I had a conversation with a friend recently about how my eldest son and her son weren’t ‘runners’ – that is to say they always stay pretty close to home, mom, dad and generally listen when told not to go further. I say generally, as let’s face it no child listens all the time. I have almost prided myself on this fact, my son Jack rarely ran amok, rarely pulled every toy out of the box, didn’t ever make a run for the open swimming pool or touch the gas fireplace in our old home in Scotland, or try to pull out the stones in the gas fire of our new house. He just never did those things and because of that I was always shocked and admittedly maybe a tiny bit judgemental when I saw kids who seemed uncontrollable and strong-willed. I didn’t realize that the poor mom was run ragged. The reason I bring this up is because now I have one of those kids and it just happens to be the one who is visually impaired, he is fearless. Twice over the 4th of July weekend, I heard the beep of the sensor over our front door go. We inherited it from the previous owner, and although it drives me batty with the incessant beeping every time one of us opens a door, I am also incredibly grateful. If I hadn’t heard the beep who knows how long it would have been before I noticed he was missing. Both times I caught him, door open trying to move over the step of our front entryway and when I asked him what he was doing he started moving faster out the door. I feel like this brave, outgoing, no hold bars personality will be an asset when he is a teenager but right now as a mom to an 18-month-old, it scares the living shit out of me.
He roams around our house without a care in the world, pulling toys out, dragging toys everywhere. On two occasions the baby gate had been accidentally left open and he immediately climbed up the stairs with glee. If he isn’t tired or hungry he doesn’t need me. He climbs the sofa and looks over at me with a cheeky smile on his face taunting me to come over and tell him not to do it. His new favorite thing is to move chairs and climb onto tables. I often walk by and just find him sitting there smack dab in the middle of our kitchen table just smiling at me as if it is totally normal to be sitting there. He has more personality and more balls than I ever expected, I expected so much from his albinism diagnosis, I expected that he would fear the stairs, that he would be nervous to go outside, that he wouldn’t enjoy swimming due to the glare. He breaks all my expectations and seems to enjoy all that life is offering him right now.
He is teaching me so much about myself, about how to be a kinder more compassionate and less judgemental human being. I can’t say I win every day but knowing him has changed me. I also believe my blood pressure may be steadily rising. What is it they say? Easy baby, crazy teenager or crazy baby, easy teenager (an old wives tale maybe but one can only hope).
Featured image – Nash on the left holding dad’s hand as they walk into the sea (no fear).