If you're a regular reader of this blog, you may have noticed that my weekly Friday column titled Hero of the Week has been missing for a while. Well, like everyone else out there, we have been enjoying our summer. So, what little time I have had lately has been spent in the pool or playing with the kids. I apologize, but I will try to make up for it by giving you a story I'm sure you won't soon forget.
My Hero of the Week column began after I grew tired listening to the media decide that bad news was the only news that needed to be reported. The Hero of the Week is someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty, or someone who may have quietly performed a heroic deed that only he himself may know about, but the deed is much bigger than he may understand.
I have chosen my son Scooter as my Hero of the Week.
Although Scooter often makes his way into the stories I tell, I have up until now left out a few details about my youngest. When Scooter was one years old he would constantly get ear infections. After the tenth time we decided to get tubes. I spoke to many parents before we went through this surgery, and all had good things to report.
About two months after receiving tubes, I noticed a difference in the way Scooter heard the world. He began to ask about conversations that I had with my husband in another room. He asked about sounds that were normally ignored by others, but unavoidable for him. His hearing had become so acute that he began to become scared of the simplest of things.
The last 2 years have been spent with pediatricians, specialists, and O.T's. Most giving us the same answer: "He will grow out of this."
To some people, this would be good news. But as a Mother, I needed a time line. In my mind I was always counting down to the first day of Pre-K. "Would he be able to cope?" "Would something scare him so much that he wouldn't go back." I felt like Scooter's translator many days. "Tell them I can't do that Mommy. Tell them it scares me," would be written all over his face.
Many days I felt helpless, like a wet band aid that clings to a sore but is unable to protect anymore.
So like any Mom, I tried to convince my son just how strong he really was. If a sensory processing disorder was something that he could learn to cope with, then he already had the tools he needed. It was just up to him to be ready.
He was ready today.
It's been two years since Scooter has been able to walk into a movie theater without screaming. Today he did it. With his brother Potter, his Mom Mom and myself by his side; he did it!
As he stayed focused on the screen; I was focused on him. I couldn't help but let a few tears get by from time to time. He sat there in hysterics eating his popcorn and appearing to be unaffected by all the noise. It doesn't get better than this.
Despite this enormous step today, Scooter has a long way to go. But for the first time in a long time, I saw him move forward.
You are courageous my little man. One day you will take on the world like you took on today. You are stronger than you know. Follow your heart. You can become anything you want to be. But today, you are a hero!