Saturday, June 22, 2013

Silas's Face

Today is the ninth day Silas's face has been frozen with Bell's Palsy.  It's hard, now, to imagine he'll wake up one day without it.  The past few weeks, I've been discovering Silas anew, surprised and impressed by his chutzpah, and his response to this new face has added to it.  

The other day, on the way to tennis with a new coach:
Silas, do you want me to tell the tennis coach you have Lyme Disease?
Is it ok if he thinks your face is like that all the time?
Yeah. (laughing his sideways laugh), I wish it were like this all the time!
You do?Yeah. (laughing)  I like it. 
I hope your movement comes back...  
Well, I like your face.  But if it doesn't, it's ok because we love this face, too.
Yeah, we do.

I listened to our conversation again in my head as we drove. 
We do love this face,-- it is Silas's face.  
But it is changed, and I can see, already, ways he would change, or be changed by having this face permanently.  He has to reach up and close his left eye from time to time because he can't blink fully.  This would be a new way of being, little paw to the eye throughout his days.  He wasn't much for eye contact with new people anyway, but now when he stares at the ground, he looks more expressionless, dejected.  I see how people make quick assumptions -- something mental connected with the nerve damage.  I watch people step away from him, or at least not draw near, turn to Eden more readily for a face they can mirror.  I see how people miss his happiness -- his twinkle and smiling backdrop -- when his whole smile is packed into the right corner of his mouth.  His speech has changed, words loose and less formed in his mouth, and his eating is messier and louder.  Looking at him, I can't picture what he looks like with his full face in motion.

And at the same time, there he is: across the pool, he tugs on his 13 year old swim team "buddy" (whom he met a week ago) and hangs around talking to him, older boy larger than life.  I watch the buddy smile and stay with him.  I see Silas pull goggles over his eyes to protect the one that won't close, and dive into the pool and swim hard.  I see him try to press his lip against his spoon and eat more quietly, already improved.  I hear him in his room singing, making up rhymes, busily building circuits, a doorbell that sings "happy birthday."  And here he is, little Silas Rock, as always.  I just want the rest of the world to see him, too.  

1 comment:

KLA said...

I wish I could kiss that lopsided smile! You are an inspiration- S's bravery and breezy joy are a testament to your wildly deep nurturing. Great job. All will soon be will with your lovely boy. XO