Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Life Goes On

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Life Goes On

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da,
Life goes on, brah
La la how the life goes on
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da
Life goes on, brah
La la how the life goes on

-- "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" (The Beatles)

We had yet another dentist appointment yesterday. I have been there so often that I feel like I should at least have my own coffee cup in the employee lounge. When we were first scheduled for what they call "fun visits" months ago, I was a complete skeptic. It seemed that for months Erik's anxiety about the dentist was only intensifying. Smack dab in the middle of the process, the wall of gleaming teeth that was Dr. Mike retired and was replaced by a comely 12-year-old named Dr. Brent, which only served to sour my attitude further. In the end, though, the efforts that originally seemed futile have actually worked wonders. Color me surprised.

Yesterday after Erik and Stinky-Dog rode the orange examination chair like a lame mechanical bull, Erik was allowed to play with the suction tube, which he considers one of his beloved vacuums. He ran it over Stinky-Dog's scruffy face and flaccid body, and the stuffed animal chuckled and begged Erik to stop in his throaty, pack-a-day grumble. By the time Dr. Brent joined us in the room, Erik easily opened his mouth wide for the first time and demonstrated that his teeth were completely free of cavities. I was informed that our brushing techniques were obviously much more effective than the ones typical children used on their own teeth (I allowed myself to feel a little smug, as this feeling is rare and quite precious). Erik even allowed a nasty-tasting fluoride solution to be swabbed over his teeth with a brush and successfully vacuumed out the excess on his own with the suction tube for the very first time, seeming to enjoy the juicy sound of it. He was rewarded with two balloons and a brief session of stimming/spinning on the wheels of the toys in the waiting room, where I discovered a Ms. Pac Man machine. Score.

This summer has been one of change. I have made some difficult decisions regarding my personal life and am striving to be a better friend, daughter, sister, aunt, mother, and wife. I desire to feel more connected with the outside world again and have sought help to sort things out. I was amazed at how intensely the emotions I felt a few years ago easily bubbled to the surface like new when I described my experiences out loud. Today I meet a part of my father's biological family that my parents recently discovered through their research over the years. From what I have heard, they are amazing. Ironically, I lost my grandmother last week, who was a very large part of my childhood. Our relationship over the past few years has been difficult, but her love for Erik seemed to smooth things over and brought us together one last time, which happened to be the day before she passed away. I have come to believe that one of Erik's jobs here on earth is to bridge the sometimes incredibly profound gaps between the people around him, and he is an absolute expert at it, even at the ripe old age of 4.

Today we attend our last IFSP (IEPs begin next year). We are hoping to say goodbye to diapers this year and are excited to witness more of the progress he has shown us every year.

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Blogger Tes said...

darn your eloquent words, now my vision is all blurry, sniff, sniff.......

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back! I missed you! I'm sorry to hear about your Grandma. Congrats to Erik on allowing the fluoride...that's a substantial step!

1:56 PM  
Blogger Noel said...

Love you Nancy! I am inspired by you, maybe someday, I can start climbing out of this small little world I have created for myself just a little bit more.

7:55 AM  
Blogger jbgrinch said...

good to see you back, Give erik a big hi five for the trip to the dentist.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear of your grandmother's passing.

Erik is always in the middle of small miracles. I’m thinking that’s not a coincidence. ;)

Good news about the dentist visit!

11:15 PM  

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