Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Looking Back in the Rearview Mirror

rear view mirror

Spring is here as we are all celebrating this warm weather! For our family…with my husband being a landscaper…spring means BUSY!!! Zach officially quite his sales job about a month ago when he realized after being there about 6 months the potential they had talked up in being there just wasn’t there…at least not for many, many years down the road. Even though he was doing very well there (not that he would EVER want me to brag about him…but he was and I’m his wife so I can ;)) he knew that the way the commissions and areas were set up that he would be there a long time before he would even be able to make a decent living. So…he has traded in his polos and slacks for his dirt stained, holy clothes for a another season of landscaping once again until he finds something else! ;)

So this means for me and Dakota…back in the “big” truck as Dakota once called it…hauling Zach, his trailers, and skidsteer to bids and jobs. We spend A LOT of time together in that truck! ;)

Zach went blind when Dakota was just turning 1. So from that point on, our life totally changed and we kicked into survival mode. I became a driver for Zach any time that was needed, to make this landscaping work…which meant Dakota became a passenger. He LOVED being able to ride in Zach’s truck and never minded spending hours a day in there.

This sounds really weird but one of my most FAVORITE views of Dakota was looking back at him in the rear view mirror...maybe because I did it so much!! I don’t know what it was about looking at him in that mirror but it was magical. Dakota ALWAYS looked SO dang cute in that mirror. I always wanted to capture a picture of the way he looked in that mirror but it would never turn out the way I saw him so I have kept that image in my head all these years!! When you looked back at him in that mirror all you could see was his cutest little face with his big eyes, little perfect nose, his blanket usually in his mouth cuz he liked to suck on it…it was just perfection!! When he would catch me looking at him you would see the corner of his little mouth come up along the sides of his blanket and his big eyes squint a little as he smiled…still with that blanket in his mouth! It melted my heart every time!!!! I could look at him all day in that mirror!

After his accident I remember looking back in my rear view mirror at him and just crying!! I didn’t recognize that same kid I once knew anymore. It was different. He looked different, his facial expression was different, his blanket was never in his mouth, he never smiled, he cried a lot in the car and I remember just missing that view SO badly it physically hurt! I still loved him but the view was different and I didn’t think I would ever get to see it again…and it was hard!!!

Well…this spring as we have again spent a lot of time in that big truck together…I now catch myself looking in that rear view mirror and miraculously that perfect view is back!!! When I look at Dakota now…31/2 years after his accident it brings back those same feelings I had before his accident. I see perfection in that face. He looks again like himself and even though he still doesn’t have a blanket in his mouth (which is good since he is 5 ;)) his big beautiful eyes are lit up just the same and his smile is even more magical to look at then it ever was before!!! He has that same happy and content look sitting in the “big” truck and he even smiles again when we ask him if he wants to ride in daddy’s big truck. He hardly ever cries and his face is just content and happy like he used to be riding in the truck. Zach and I both can’t believe how far he has come and how much he has made a full circle back to the boy we once knew!

The progress Dakota is making is still so small and slow and probably not even very noticeable to others but it is SOOOO big and so special to us!! To see even glimpses of his personality and character come back when once it was all lost, is truly a miracle for us and is our source of PURE joy!!!!

I have come to learn that sometimes it takes something being taken away from us to learn to appreciate and enjoy even the simplest and smallest of blessings in life!! I will never ever take that sweet little view for granted again! Thank you Dakota for teaching your mom to stop and take the time to appreciate these small and simple things in life…you are my greatest teacher!!!


  1. So sweet. Thanks for sharing. You have a way to just inspire and uplift everyone around you. You are amazing.

  2. His smile is so precious! He is making progress and changing lives too! What a neat little boy and wise mom!