In the Blink of an Eye...

A totally scary thing happened this afternoon. My husband had taken Bug up to town to do laundry and to take his service dog to the veterinarian. Everything went pretty well until at one point Bug's impulsiveness managed to override his rational thought and Bug jumped out of the car and ran across a busy parking lot towards the street. We are lucky as he was unhurt and was stopped by someone who recognized and 'caught' him. But that was seriously a close call.

Bug's tendency to run really seems to stem from his sensory problems. From the moment he could walk, he would run. (After all why walk anywhere when you could get there faster.) When he was around 3-5 years old, he could literally run for hours and I was a very fit individual then... exhausted, but fit. :) I remember one experience vividly in my mind when I was struck by the realization that my son's sensory needs were so high and severe. As a family, we were hiking in a park up a steep hill with a very strong wind that seemed to push us back down the hill. My husband and I would turn our faces and our bodies so that the wind didn't strike us directly and other hikers would do the same... Bug would face squarely into the wind and laugh as it pushed and pressed at him. His long curly hair flying straight back along with the ends of his jacket whipping in the breeze... and he was clearly not only enjoying the sensation but craving and needing it. I felt like he was trying to embrace the wind. The joy and satisfaction and almost ecstasy on his face was breathtaking to see. (And a good lesson on adversity as well.)

In some ways that period of time was easier as my husband and myself were always on the alert ready to run, stop, or tackle him. His impulsiveness and inexplicable running have faded with time as his sensory needs have become more controllable and integrated into his nervous system. And in some ways that has added more danger as we rarely have two people on top of him constantly and we as parents are no longer constantly on high alert- which is probably healthier for us... but not for Bug. It only takes a moment for the potential for life to change in ways that we do not want. One blink could be one blink too many.

Of all the blessings that I count at the end of my day, I am so grateful for the opportunity to spent the evening with my son- still safe and whole. I am grateful for a husband who does try so hard and is a great person and my friend. I am thankful to go to sleep with my family still intact and well. I am so grateful that my son really does seem to be well on the way to conquering his sensory disorder... maybe someday I can work on conquering mine. There are so many things to be grateful for. I am truly blessed.


  1. Camo seems to run someplace when he has something or place in mind. The waterpark was a big concern when he was younger. He'd take off as soon as you blinked and didn't care if the waterpark was closed. We were seconds away from grabbing him before he got through a hole in the fencing.

  2. A friend of mine has a son named Michael with Down syndrome. There have been many times when after church there has been a hunt for Michael as he has simply disappeared. The police have been called on a few occasions to find him as well. And a friend of mine has a son with Autism who is well known as the recipient of the largest man hunt in Ellsworth. :)

    Bug is a little different in that he seems to run sometimes for the sheer beauty and joy of it. So there may not be any particular place in mind... just a wish to feel the wind and be speedy. Don't get me wrong- sometimes he certainly has a destination in mind... but most of the time it is truly a crapshoot to figure out where he is headed simply because the destination changes as he moves.

  3. Entirely too scary!

  4. What a wake up call! Good thing your both young to keep up with him.