Buttons.

It’s amazing how we physically able people take things for granted.
I learned to always use a microphone when speaking/preaching/teaching. The whole “can everyone hear me? Because I don’t think I need this mic” is a common example.
1) We never really give a chance for someone to really respond… and 2) the persons that may not be able to hear isn’t really going to speak up because they don’t want stand out/be singled out/be rude, etc…

Buttons are another thing.
It never really crossed my mind that buttons on one’s shirts and pants would pose problems for people. But buttons aren’t really friendly for everyone.

In occupational therapy, Nathanael’s working on being able to button up his shirt.
And it’s been so difficult.
In today’s session, I can tell he was getting frustrated.
But there’s a stubbornness in him too. As frustrated as he was, he was determined to button up the pair of jeans he was working on.

He did eventually get it — fingertips a bit red; water forming in the corner of his eyes.

It’s a journey of mixed emotions watching him work on buttoning up.
A part of me is stumped that it’s so difficult for him because it’s such a mindless activity for us — which should always be a reminder that what may be a basic step for me may not be a basic step for somebody else.
A part of me is frustrated for him and on his behalf.
A part of me just wants him to stop and we’ll just buy t-shirts and gym shorts for the rest of his life.
Still a part of me admires his stubbornness of not wanting to quit.
And a part of my heart breaks because, while everyone’s life is an uphill battle, I feel like his uphill battle will be on a slightly steeper incline.

I kept trying to remember when I learned how to button up my shirts/pants.
But I can’t remember.

It’s moments like these where we look at the long road ahead of us.
And it becomes incredibly easy to feel discouraged about the miles and miles and miles and miles ahead.
However.
While there’s, most definitely, a long road ahead of us, it’s also worthwhile to note how far we’ve come.
It’s important to take note of the strides we have made to get to where we are.

In a few weeks, we’ll celebrate the day that we first met Nathanael.
He spoke only 5 words at 3.5 years old.
His vocabulary would expand to include words like “Kai-Ko” which is what he called a motorcycle.
But “Kai-Ko” would eventually evolve into ‘motorcycle.’
I still remember how excited I was when he nonchalantly said “motorcycle” when he saw one.
Like, I paused and was like — what you say?
Then I had to have him say it again so I could record it and send it to Rahel.
It was a big deal. We made it a big deal.
And it felt silly it was a big deal but it was a big deal.
But I guess that’s what it’s like having and celebrating kids (YAY you pooped in the toilet!!! You did what you’re supposed to do!!!!)

It’s good to have a balance of understanding the road ahead of us and celebrating how we got where we are. Spend too much time focused on the long and arduous road ahead of us, we may get discouraged and be more inclined to give up.
Spend too much celebrating our past, we may never want to move forward (*cough*looking-at-you-mainline-churches*cough*).

We’ll keep moving forward, though. One button at a time…

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