When Nate was a child, it was a challenge to locate toys that interested him and made him happy, because of his vision impairment. Growing up, he preferred to play with toys that were lighted. He had a few of those toys, but his favorite was his Glo Worm®. That toy made him the happiest little boy there was. When he learned how to squeeze the body, so that the face would light up, Nate would burst into giggles of happiness.
However, in 2005, at the age of 10, Nate lost his vision completely, and lighted toys no longer had an affect on him. Instead, my son would lay on the sofa, inactive, and not engaging in any playful activities. It was a difficult time for him and for me, as I felt lost looking for ways to make him happy.
So in my attempt to locate an activity that would make him happy, I remembered the times, Nate and I went on vacations to the beach. There he basked in the sun, as he splashed in the ocean, full of contentment. That is when I finally had my answer. Nate needed to be in the water.
Since that very first day of taking Nate swimming, he hasn’t stopped being happy. He is conditioned in his routine, of waking up at 5am on Saturday Mornings. He is excited to get dressed and jump into the car for our drive to the pool. Once we arrive, and are at the front desk, he pulls me into the locker room, so that I can help him prepare for his morning of swimming.
As he walks to the pool area, a huge smile appears on his face and giddiness falls over him. Once he reaches the water, that is it. Nate is in his own little world. And I can do nothing, but feel joy and thankfulness, that my son is very happy.