Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Little Boy Found!

Sometime around when Mad Natter turned two, we started losing him. It was gradual, so we didn't even really realize it as it was happening. He just sort of slipped away. By the time he was three, he was gone. His interests were dominated by electronic flashy things, and no real interest in toys or games unless they were an extreme novelty, or came with inordinate amounts of attention (think one-on-one, no distractions, solely focused on him and his every word for hours at a time). His affinity for cars, Duplo, trains, drawing, storytelling... All gone. Just a little boy lost in a technological wonderland, his only interests videos, videogames, and fast-moving movies.

It took a long time.  It took a very long time. But I've realized this past week, that Mad Natter has come back to us. He's drawing again. He's telling stories about how Kirby beat the Big Boss, and what forms he used, and how he got them, and...  He's building robots and games out of LEGO, and he's making transitions from one activity to another remarkably easier. He still loves videos and computer games, but he's willing to entertain himself, to read a book, to use his imagination.

I can't express how this feels in our house. I mean, yes, the stress levels have changed. But the fact of the matter is that for the last three years, we've had a virtual stranger living in our house. A caricature of our son, who looked like him, sounded like him, grew like him, but... his personality was just buried. He was lost to us, hidden under layer after layer of confusion and mental chaos, clutter and distraction keeping him beyond arm's reach, keeping him from us, from himself.

When he started taking medication, we were all leery. Mad Natter was afraid of pills, Skeeve was afraid of the effects, I was afraid of the side effects. Within a week, we started to see glimpses of Mad Natter peeking through. He was entranced by the lobster tank at the store, he picked up LEGO again, and he started looking for crayons. After his medication was adjusted, more and more of him came through. This week, he sat and played with his toys - for the first time in months, if not years. Our little boy has come home again. We're nothing but thankful, relieved, and elated. We've missed him so much, it's so good to see him - really, truly, fantastically him.