Monday, May 24, 2010

What It's Like to Be Him - Part One

I often wonder what it's like for Elijah to live in his body.  The older he gets the more obvious it is to me that he doesn't experience life the same way I do, the same way most of us do.  It's just different to live in his skin.  He sees things differently than I do.  As a result, I'm constantly trying to understand what it's like to be him.
One afternoon, I was trying to teach Elijah how to ride his trike.  He was interested for a short amount of time, but soon he got off the trike, ran to the garage and started to circle our vehicles...over and over and over again. He wasn't interested in riding his trike anymore...or anything else for that matter.

Let's be honest; I was annoyed.  Watching him get stuck on doing one thing that isn't really "play" is disheartening, especially since I was trying to teach him something fun. And then I realized...our vehicles provided some really amazing reflections.  I didn't notice it at first because I wasn't really looking.  I wasn't seeing things the way Elijah saw them.  I saw two cars.  He saw the coolest mirrors ever.
Elijah causes me to look more, to try and see the world through his eyes.  Stepping in his shoes helps me understand why some things are difficult for our little man.

Our boy has a hard time with curbs.  He doesn't really see them.  But open your eyes.  Can you see them?  This is the end of our yard and the beginning of the culdasac in front of our house...Do you see a curb there?...
If I didn't know that there was a curb there, I wouldn't be able to see it.  Now imagine you're a little boy who loves to run and has a visual impairment, would you be able to see that curb?  Even for me (an adult with no visual impairment), it's more a matter of me knowing that the curb is there than actually seeing it.  It looks flat in real life too, not just in this picture.

Sometimes stepping back and picturing what it's like to be Elijah is beneficial.  It makes me open my eyes a little more, it helps me understand the obstacles Elijah faces, and makes me appreciate the things I can see around me.

Speaking of appreciating, did you see my German Irises in the above photo?  I'm madly in love with my flowers around my mailbox. Take a closer look...
The guy at the greenhouse said they smell like grape jelly.  And he was right.  Mmm, grape jelly flowers. Look even closer...now go smell some grape jelly at the same time and you'll have the full experience. :)
We all benefit from opening our eyes a little more and seeing things differently, don't we?

9 comments:

Heather said...

Wow! It's funny how we can disregard things like our reflection in a vehicle when, to others, it can be a whole experience in itself! There are so many things that we don't really see while going through life.

One late fall day, a friend of mine said "Be sure to look at all of the tree skeletons on your way home. They're beautiful!". To that day, I had never even really looked at a tree skeleton before. I just passed them by as though they were boring, lifeless clutter on the side of the road. But when I looked, my eyes were opened to a whole new world! My friend is a naturalist who knows all of the animals and foliage of Michigan and, at that moment when I saw those tree skeletons for the first time, I was getting a glimpse into her world and what was so fascinating to her.

So thanks for the reminder Elijah, because at least for today, I will take time to smell the roses (Sorry Lisa, I have no grape jelly here!) and look at all of God's wonderful gifts from my reflection in my vehicle to the newly sprouting greens!

Steve said...

OK ... after that post someone need to invent a 'scratch and sniff' computer monitor. I want to smell grape jelly.

Dennis Lausted said...

A very good lesson for us all. Your pictures made the story clear. We all probably need to slow the pace of life, so we can all see better. Love Dad

Kathy Lausted said...

Wow, Lisa! You made it so real! What talent to bring your son's life so all can understand - a little, because no one can really walk in his shoes. And I love your German Irises, "ol" lady:) Wish I could be there to see them. Love you all, MomGrammaKat

TherExtras said...

Definitely! - we all could benefit! You are a very insightful Mom!

Barbara

sugar magnolia said...

Wow! What a post! I never thought about this before. Yes, our kids experience the world differently...but I never really THOUGHT about HOW! I am going to observe my own daughter now. What a great lesson you wrote!

The Marketing Mama said...

Hi Lisa, thanks for your comment on my blog and for pointing out all the things we have in common! :)

Nice to "meet" you...

This is a great post about Elijah and how he experiences the world. :)

rc45 said...

Lisa,
What an insightful post. Our children and to us grandparent's our grandchildren are a wonderful treasure that God has given to us. Thank you for this post. I am sure that Elijah is a joy to you as you seek to see the world through his eyes. We have the oportunity to see the world through Maya's eyes each and every day as her grandparents. We do this with joy

danette said...

Hi, I'm visiting from Barbara's blog... what an insightful post. I love the reflection in the car :).

My boys have taught me a lot about noticing and appreciating the world around me, the world through their eyes is a truly amazing place.

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