Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Smell of Candle Smoke

Candles provide such a serene, contemplative light. And I love to watch the delicate loops of smoke rise to the ceiling! Well, James has me thinking about candles this week...

You know that adorable toddler phase of picking up everything? The one where dirt must be tasted, smelled or rolled between the fingers to really sense it? (You know you did it!) It's actually a very valuable thing to discover the world piece by piece. How do I know what it tastes like? I'm sure I must have tried it!

All of our kids went through this phase in some form or other. Of course the boys were more into dirt and Anna was more into washing her hands for hours on end. But the senses are such a valuable thing well-worth the investment of time.

One of James' struggles has been what is technically called 'tactile hyposensitivity'. It basically means some of the wires in the 'sense of touch' part of the brain are confused or not working properly. And we thought he was such a cute little tough guy being able to watch the needle go in his arm for a blood draw without a flinch or cry... know we now what was really at work there!

This past week, James seems to be discovering his body and the world around him all over again! It's the absolute funnest thing to watch!

"Mom! Smell this candle smoke! Doesn't it smell funny? I wonder if I can catch it in my hands??!"

Believe me, he has had plenty of exposure to candle smoke before. We light candles at dinner for the entire months of December and February. Surely, this wouldn't be a huge discovery for him? But it is.

"What? This guava is too ripe and squishy!"
Mom: "But you ate the same kind last week and the week before that and didn't care."
"Well it's gross. I don't really like the taste of guavas."
(two siblings eating them up don't seem to mind...)
Mom: "But you used to love them!"
"Well, I guess I like them if they are mostly green."

Mr. Picky Discerning Tastes, where did you come from?

Foods he has eaten without comment for years have suddenly changed. Everything tastes different to him. Each meal is a discovery!

"I love this spice!"

He seems to be awakening all over again to the amazing world we live in.
The smell of rain.
The smell of candle smoke.
The delicious taste of ripe fruits.
The taste of spices.

It is a whole new world for James. One where he gives out the hugs and asks to be tickled (two things he hasn't done for at least 5 years).

It is a whole new world for his Mom.

But a wonderful one
we are so grateful for the glorious senses
to hear,
to taste,
to feel,
to smell and
to see this shadow of a world.

Watching him discover things makes me realize how rich I am.
Rich with a Sage nose that can smell out any treat or disaster.
Rich with an ear for music.
James, through his struggles, teaches me gratitude.
So next time you blow out a candle, I hope you take a second to watch the gorgeous smoke rise, smell it with me and thank God for senses!

We are coming up on 3 months of James eating allergen-free foods on DAN protocol, and 2 months of being on the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet, linked over in the sidebar). I had heard amazing stories about autistic kids finding healing on SCD, but had not read anything specific about sensory issues. Apparently, this diet has helped sensory issues in other families too.


careann said...

I LOVE that the Lord is bringing you joy through the struggle. I LOVE that James is rediscovering his world and I LOVE that you publish it for me to read.

Makes me think of the Chris Tomlin song "Our God". Here is a You Tube link.

Pretty amazing how God works!

LOve you guys.

a pilgrim said...

Wow. That's amazing. Thanks for sharing this good news.