The last two weeks, I've been very aware of just how special Jefferson is.
Last week, we were doing some pretty intensive potty-training sessions, and, at times, I was about to lose my mind. In just one morning, he wet 5 times on the kitchen floor and had one bm on the kitchen floor as well. Nothing in the potty seat! Ahhhhhhhhh! We've taken a little more relaxed approach for this past week.
When I was cooking for him last week and bringing him his food, he grinned at me, and I was overwhelmed by love. He is a lot of work, but he is such a blessing to us as well. I was reminded of what happened a little over a year ago.
I was eating a banana and offering him some of it. He took too big a bite and it became lodged in his throat. After turning him upside down and beating him and then trying to reach my fingers down to pull it up (not a good idea), I screamed for Ryan, who was working from home that day, to get downstairs. He did the heimlich on Jefferson, and it was just enough to dislodge the banana and allow him to swallow it. During that time though, Jefferson had turned blue, his eyes were wide with terror, before rolling back into his head, and he had blood all over his mouth, probably due to my digging in his throat. It's still hard for me to write this and remember it.
With all his disorders/developmental struggles, he struggles with chewing and swallowing. It's not that he can't, it's that he needs to exercise his tongue and jaw more than others and it's not easy for him, so he just swallows food whole. So we get a lot of choking and gagging. Every time he chokes or gags, my heart speeds up and jumps in my throat and I start yelling, "Chew it up, Jefferson. Chew!" Most of the time he will.
This past Tuesday however, he had put so much chicken in his mouth, that he couldn't chew. And, apparently, he doesn't know how to spit it out either. I tried that. Finally I reached in to start pulling out the chicken in front, and then he started throwing it up. He choked, gagged and coughed for about the next 10 minutes, trying to clear his airways. I sat in the rocking chair, holding him and crying -- again.
He is a joy. He is lively and happy. He loves people. He loves his siblings, and he loves his mom and dad. He loves talking on the phone (even though nobody knows what he's saying). Cooking for him is often worse than cooking for the rest of our family, and I cook almost entirely from scratch, so that's saying a lot. But none of us can imagine life without him.
So for this week, I'm so thankful that the Lord has given us Jefferson. He is truly a special gift from God.