Hope and a Football Metaphor – Bear With Me

Every year, we take Eddie to Seattle for annual check-ups with some pediatric specialists. I’ve written about our annual doctor visits before since it’s simply part of raising Eddie. This year, we happened to be in Seattle for quite a weekend.

Seattle had their big NFL game on Sunday, which would determine if the Seahawks would again be in the Super Bowl. I’m a mediocre fan at best, but most of my family are Seahawk fanatics and have been their whole lives. Part of our “doctor trip” included babysitting for my brother and his wife so they could attend the big game.

For anyone who watched the game, or who heard about it the next day on the news, you know that the Seahawks were in no position to win with only three minutes left. The odds were that the Packers would be going to the Super Bowl…in fact the odds were so good that many Seahawk fans left early.

However, with some amazing athleticism, planning, and execution on the part of the Seahawks…they actually won in overtime. Something that my brother kept telling me, was truly against all odds as they lagged behind far into the fourth quarter. For anyone who watched the game, mediocre fan or not, your emotions were running high.

eddie playing on doctor exam table

Thinking back to the game, I can easily relate it to the almost ten years we’ve spent raising Eddie, so I’m going to attempt a football metaphor. First, all the odds were in our favor that Eddie would have no special needs. We had no family history, all pregnancy tests were normal, and I was at prime baby-growing age. Just like the Seahawks going into Sunday’s game…most people were betting on us and our son.

Then, as he got a little older, and the developmental delays became more significant, we were thrown one new diagnosis after another. Again like the Seahawks, who painfully threw multiple interceptions, each milestone was intercepted by poor liver function…then blindness…and eventually Autism.

Like the super-fans at Sunday’s game, there was no way we were going to bow out early. Even if nothing was going our way. However, there were some in Eddie’s life that gave up hope. One eye doctor even told us that he would be “significantly handicapped” and there was nothing to do. These doctors were the kind of people that left the field before the game was done.

Those fans…the ones that left…had their faces pressed to the glass after leaving the stadium. After they gave up on the Seahawks, the Seahawks continued to play the game…and win against all odds. This is how I imagine all the naysayers in Eddie’s life. Yesterday, as I watched him make his way through multiple doctor appointments, personality shining, I felt bad for those that didn’t stick around to see him grow.

I picture their nose to the glass watching him walk, communicating, using a cane, learning braille…and wishing they were still in the game. Wishing they had some part to play in his journey. Well, just like for the Seahawks fans, there is no “re-entry” when you give up hope on Eddie either.

After hearing about all the progress Eddie is making while visiting with his doctors yesterday, I don’t regret a medical decision we’ve made. However, I’m pretty sure those that gave up on Eddie, would regret not seeing the progress for themselves. Luckily, I haven’t missed a comeback yet, and I never will.

Go Hawks!