Yesterday, Max had the best bike ride of his life. He rode his adaptive trike (a Triaid TMX) down the driveway. Then he cruised up and down our street, steering like a pro, doing turns and K-turns and masterfully navigating bumps on the sidewalk.
Last weekend, Max had the best bike ride of his life. He rode his adaptive trike down the driveway. Then he cruised up and down our street, steering like a pro, doing turns and K-turns and masterfully navigating bumps on the sidewalk.
Whenever Max rides his bike, I think it is the best bike ride of his life. Because every single time, I am awed by his riding. Every single time I think, Whoa, that is amazing.
It's not that I don't believe he is capable. My heart and mind are scarred from the NICU doctor who warned us about all the stuff for which Max was at risk. He might not walk or talk. He could have cognitive impairment. He could have vision and hearing problems. Not once did that man say anything positive, until I complained to the NICU social worker. And it was only then that he acknowledged that infant's brains are malleable ("plastic," they call it).
Doctors are supposed to uphold the "First do no harm" tenet (actually not part of their oath, but still a guiding principle). They should also be careful not to do emotional harm of the kind I and other parents of kids with special needs have suffered. Some of these MDs are the grim reapers of modern-day medicine. If there's one thing parents of kids with medical conditions and disabilities need, it's hope. Not false promises, but some positives to cling to.
For years after Max was born, I fantasized about bringing him back to that doctor and triumphantly saying: SEE? YOU WERE WRONG. Max has his challenges, sure, but he sure isn't the tragedy that doctor envisioned. A couple of months ago, I found out that the doctor had passed away. Mostly, I was disappointed that he'd never eat his words.
Yet for all the despair that doctor instilled in me, there's this: I never take for granted what Max has accomplished. I will probably always marvel at Max's movements, the ones he wasn't supposed to do.
The next bike ride will be the best bike ride of his life, too.