Sunday, 3 February 2013

what do you see?

When you look at him, what do you see?

Do you see dysmorphic features?  Every element of his face and body and mind that are abnormal, different, wrong?
Do you see everything that various medical professionals have spent the whole of his life pointing at, highlighting, drawing attention to, shining a light on?
Do you see his ears, unequal in size, tilted on his head, strangely shaped?
Do you see the calluses on his hands, formed from years of biting himself in anger and frustration?
Do you see his eyes, those extra folds of skin, making him look . . . odd?
Do you see the nappies he wears, sticking out a little from the back of his jeans?
Do you see the strange shape of his head, echoing the strange shape of his skull?
Do you see the dribble that collects on his chin, then parts ways with his face and marks his t~shirt?
Do you see his left elbow moving awkwardly, wide where the bones are dislocated and fused together?
Do you see his right elbow, going back on itself by 50° more than yours or mine?
Do you see the bruises he gathers, discolouring his pale skin?
Do you see the bi~focal glasses, almost comical in size to give him the best chance of seeing through them instead of over them?
Do you see the walking frame, the special car seat, the wombat, the wheelchair?
Do you see the thick, heavy boots, worn even in the summer with shorts, with straps of Velcro and socks pulled up high to protect his skin from being rubbed away?
Do you see the scars left by doctors on his legs and his body, a permanent reminder of the ugliness of operating theatres and drips and pieces of metal holding his body together?
Do you see the uneven gait, the steps that go over and on top of toys and books and other people's feet instead of carefully picking their way between them?
Do you see the four page repeat prescription list, full of unpronounceable names of his medicines, those mixtures of chemicals he swallows every single day?
Do you see the hands that cannot be held out straight because neither of his elbows or wrists allow that twisting motion?
Do you see his eyes, uneven and unequal, struggling to work together to report back to his brain about the world outside of his head?
Do you see him struggle to find a word he knows, unable to get it from his mind past his lips and out for others to hear?

Is that what you see?

I see his sweet face, split by a wide grin as he spots a friend walking towards him.
I see the bubbles in his bath, floating down as he tries to throw them in the air.
I see his bright eyes, glancing around a room and fixing on the person he thinks will most likely read a book with him.
I see him hang his head in shame when he's been caught doing something wrong.
I see his quick smile, telling me he's okay.
I see his sheer delight when he realises it's chocolate cake for pudding.
I see his enjoyment as he interacts with people around him, and knows they understand him.
I see his sense of humour as he tells me his name is now Frog, and I am Frog Mummy.
I see his pride when he shows me a certificate of achievement from school.
I see his concentration on a book he holds in his lap, pointing to his favourite pictures.
I see his bravery, when he knows the four people heading towards his hospital bed are coming to help hold him down to take more blood.
I see him standing upright, fighting with such strength against gravity to stay that way.
I see him loudly singing along to a favourite song on the radio, then getting embarrassed when he realises he's been overheard.
I see the twinkle in his eye while he plots some mischief, probably involving Eli, or food, or both.
I see the concern on his face, when he sees someone is upset.
I see the splashing he makes with his legs in the swimming pool, kicking as hard as he can.
I see his perseverance through his continuing struggle to form the words he wants to say to the people around him.
I see him putting one foot in front of the other, taking the steps those doctors said he'd never take.
I see him hugging Eli, revelling in the simple pleasure of friendship.
I see him putting his arms around me, patting my arm, my shoulder, my head ~ whichever is easiest for him to reach.  'Okay mummy, okay, okay.  Better soon mummy, ahhhh ahhhh.'
I see his determination, trying so hard to pick up a toy on a day that his body is shaking so much that his hand can barely manage to grip.
I see him giggling in bed as I dive under the end of his duvet, looking for feet to strip of socks and tickle.
I see him reading body language, recognising those who are comfortable with him from their actions ~ so much more dependable than their words.
I see him meet my gaze, and smile.

I wish you could see through my eyes, instead of yours.

My view is amazing, every single day.


  1. I love this, Lucas! I actually posted something similar some time ago:

  2. Great minds think alike! I've messaged you via your , I'm so pleased you like the post.


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