It was about this time last year that we found out Asher would need a brain shunt for hydrocephalus. I'll never forget that phone call, when at the beginning, I couldn't process the severity of his condition, what the nurse was saying, and I thought it meant a mother's worst fear could be happening to our family. But it wasn't. It was hard and scary, and of course watching him go through brain surgery at the age of one was no walk in the park for any of us, but it wasn't my worst fear, and I'm thankful for that every day.
Now Asher is Mister Good-To-Go, waking in the morning and taking inventory on his household,
"Your brother isn't up yet, honey."
"The dog is on her bed."
"Daaaddyyyy!!!" He runs at him and throws himself in for a hug.
He's pure unsolicited joy, that Ash Man.
He's joy even though he's had to deal with some kind of medical issue or emergency since the day he was born. Yeah, the day he was born. I'll never forget that either. How he drank and drank my overabundance of milk that comes way too quickly, then spit up and spit up and spit up until he aspirated and ended up in the NICU, tubes being forced in, screaming, me standing to the side, helpless and wishing I could breathe for him still.
It was as if he wanted to climb back in the womb and start over, since the very beginning. He was mad with colic, the kind that lasted nearly a year, and we just couldn't blame him. Every little and not-so-little thing just seemed extra difficult for him. Reflux, a digestive system that just didn't work right, a botched circumcision...you name it.
Everything that could go wrong, seemed to do exactly that.
So when I take Asher to appointments, I'm always a bit prepared for the not-so-good news. Yesterday this meant that I sat with an eye doctor while she tried to help me understand that his eyes don't work very well. She used a lot of big words that I couldn't focus on because my two boys were throwing raisins around the room and grabbing the doctor's um...chest. I took in what I could, wrote down the big words, and came home to call one of my closest friends who happens to be an eye doctor. She spoke English instead of Doctorese and I mostly understood.
In short, Asher needs glasses now so his right eye won't stop working completely. Basically, it's not really doing much, so the risk is that his brain will tell it to stop working. It needs exercise. He needs glasses (which will be the cutest thing I've ever seen in my whole life, I'm pretty sure.) He has some other issues with eyesight, including severe astigmatism and something else I don't really understand yet, to be honest.
And so we'll help. We'll get him his glasses. It could be so much worse. I'm so glad we know so early, just like we knew just early enough about his hydrocephalus, before any permanent damage was done with all that pressure on his brain.
I guess I'll probably never, as his mother, understand why he seems to always get the short end of the stick. It seems like it's just like that for some people, and sometimes it makes me angry and other times just sad. But the thing is, he's the happiest little person you'll ever meet, so mostly I just feel a peace under all the negative emotions that I'm supposed to feel.
Everything big and small that he goes through is shaping him to be the very best version of himself. He's always had an old soul look in his not-so-perfect eyes, andI gotta tell you, I'm looking forward to being a witness to how his wisdom and resilience will play out in his life.
He's absolutely perfect just as he is.
(As you can see, he sort of likes trying on glasses...we'll see how this goes.)