Buttons

As many of you know, I struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. I believe one of the reasons why I love to write is that the blank page is a Parkinson’s free zone. Aside from the fact that my fingers do not fly over the keyboard I am free of symptoms while I sit at my laptop. As I think about it, I never had “flying fingers” when it came to the old QWERTY board anyway, so I really haven’t lost anything in the typing department.


As for the rest of life and the business of living, I move pretty slowly. In my mind, I am moving at normal speed but when I see the concern on other faces, I know I am affected beyond what my self perception tells me. For that reason, I measure successes in little steps. Victories are small in scope.

And, so, today while I was buttoning True’s sweater, he eventually figured ol’ dad needed a bit of assistance, so he started pushing my hands together - thinking a bit more force would help. Well, it didn’t… and soon we were both laughing at the challenge four buttons were giving us. One of us a “button novice” at three years old; the other an old “fumble fingers” due to disease. When we finally got the task accomplished, with some curious looks from two year old Rory, True stepped back and examined his outfit. “Good job, Dad!” he said sincerely. “I didn’t know you were good at this.”

It's hard to imagine that a quarter hour to get four buttons done qualifies as being “good at this.” But I don’t think my son was referencing the clothing closures. I may be frightfully slow and clumsy - but I can still be “dad” and spend some quality time with my child. I pray that I am always “good” at that. That would qualify as a bit bigger victory and perhaps some giant steps.