“He got that from you,” my wife often reminded me when mike was up to something cheeky. And on those times I wanted to tell her that if that was really the case, then he probably got the blindness from her.
But I guess that would’ve made a terribly bad joke.
Truth is, over the last few years, we realized that blindness was not a disease. That it is still possible for a blind child to live ‘normally’.
Anyway, my son. He would walk straight into the furniture areas until he bumps into my knees. Immediately pushing himself back up from my knees, he’d quickly take a step back, get into a crouching position, and jump with hands up in the air.
“DADDY!!!” the lovely shrills and laughter would ring in every corner of the hall. There was the little kid, small arms flying every where in the air, body bouncing all over that if I didn’t grab him fast enough I worried that he might probably hit something.
2 years later, he began to recognize the sound of my car engine when coming back from work. So by the time I opened the door, all that was left of him was just the little toes sticking out from the corner of our huge sofa, and soft giggles that he could never conceal properly.
He would wait for me to come close, and I would deliberately drag my socks as loud as I can on the soft carpet floor. Right before reaching the sofa, I would ask loudly, “I wonder what happen to Mike! Did Sam eat him up?”
By the way, Sam’s the dog that Mike doubles up as a horse.
That’s the cue for Mike to jump out from the couch, “DADDY!!!” Sometimes he would jump facing the wrong direction, but that didn’t really matter because he would be jumping all over the place facing every where but me, and screaming his lungs out until I grab him, throw him into the air, spin him giddy, rest him on the sofa and tickle him silly.
After that, he would run off heaving and panting to mummy, along the way knocking himself into the huge vase that I later got rid off, and sliding right into the huge curtains that adorn the dining area.
Watching him bump his way to my wife and how my wife had to yank his then sweaty baju from his wriggling body, I then conceded that he need not look to be able to see. Maybe, maybe he has already seen everything that truly mattered, and maybe, Mike’s blindness was simply a different gift to me and my wife. One not short of its knockbacks surely, but definitely bundled with a whole lot more of joy.