The smallest things

Yesterday at school,  D let a dentist put fluoride on his teeth. This seemingly small and insignificant thing actually marks a huge step forward – and is the result of 3 years of teaching him to open his mouth and let us brush his teeth. He has gone from completely refusing to open his mouth – culminating in actually physically having to pin him down nightly and making him cry so we could get access to his teeth. Followed by months/into years of a gradual process of desensitising him and teaching him.
This is just one of the things he finds difficult.
I’ve shared this because sometimes it’s hard to put into words the challenges we face as a family with D. Each little thing seems by itself petty when you’re trying to explain to a friend why you haven’t been in touch, to a tutor when you have to hand in an assignment late, to family when we aren’t always responsive to their needs.  Delete as necessary – ‘I’m sorry I didn’t call/haven’t been in touch much because I’ve just been utterly exhausted from trying to get my son to brush his teeth/get dressed/eat his dinner.’ Sounds daft – no?
But yesterday – when he so very proudly handed me the aftercare sheet from the dentist – I cried. I cried because it was symbolic of the journey that we take with him everyday, It was symbolic of the love and care that surrounds him everyday, and marks one of those small turning points that makes you realise that all the effort is so very much worth it.


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