Meet Ian

 

Since I joined Ricochet, I’ve written often about my son. I’ve tended to refrain using his name for several years, but since you’ve heard so much about him, I thought it was about time that you finally met him.

It’s been raining here in Orange County, California for the last several days and just as I was settling in to enjoy the Super Bowl, Ian stood at the top of the stairs and announced, “Playground, please.” Well, the rain had let up and I thought it would be good for both of us to get out in the crisp, fresh air while we had the chance.

Moments before I started shooting this video on my iPhone, Ian rode the swings in this playground area. Because of his size and his enthusiasm, he gets pretty high. The dismounts are the most gut wrenching to watch because he launches himself out of the seat at the apex of the forward arc and gets airborne and then usually breaks his fall with his outstretched arms often scraping up his knees. It’s why that what little hair I have left is grey. I’ve told him often not to fly off the swings…to no avail. Someday, I’ll get that on video.

He’s a wonderful kid, if at times challenging.

There are 40 comments.

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  1. She Thatcher
    She

    Thank you for sharing such a special person with us. Two special people actually. May God bless Ian and his Dad, and all those they love and who love them, and keep them safe from all harm. 

    • #1
    • February 4, 2019, at 12:16 PM PDT
    • 29 likes
  2. Jim Chase Member

    Brian, I know how deeply personal this was for you – thank you for sharing this, and Ian, with us. All the best.

    • #2
    • February 4, 2019, at 12:21 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  3. tigerlily Member

    Thanks Brian. I have a couple of comments after watching the video. He seems to be very diligent & meticulous – when he was climbing down the circular thingamajig he made a point of going down it the entire distance even after his foot had slid off when he was as good as all the way down. Second – “Ian never misspells…” – Ian has me beat by a mile on that score.

    • #3
    • February 4, 2019, at 12:24 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Thank you for sharing more of Ian with us. May G-d bless you both.

    • #4
    • February 4, 2019, at 12:32 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  5. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    Thanks Brian. I have a couple of comments after watching the video. He seems to be very diligent & meticulous – when he was climbing down the circular thingamajig he made a point of going down it the entire distance even after his foot had slid off when he was as good as all the way down. Second – “Ian never misspells…” – Ian has me beat by a mile on that score.

    His determination to finish something is perhaps linked to his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which manifests itself in other ways as well. Cheers.

    • #5
    • February 4, 2019, at 12:36 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  6. GrannyDude Member

    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! 

    Thank you, Brian. I am very glad to “meet” your handsome son. Does he enjoy people?

    I have a suggestion about “elopement” too; there could be a technological fix, not so much for his running away (that’s the door lock and vigilance thing…phew…) but when it comes to finding him. Here in Maine, we’ve been looking into a GPS monitor that looks like a wristwatch but can allow you (or local law enforcement) to locate a vulnerable person swiftly. I don’t know, but I’m hoping they’ll soon have ones that can be “read” by first responders, allowing them to know what Ian’s challenges are so they can take care of him more effectively if they encounter him on the move alone? The pilot project is focusing on Altzheimer’s patients, but it might work for Ian, too? 

     

     

    • #6
    • February 4, 2019, at 1:42 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  7. Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… Inactive

    So appreciate the introduction, Brian! I’ve been holding you both in thought and prayer for a long time…Panda Hugs to share!

    • #7
    • February 4, 2019, at 1:48 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  8. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

    Thank you, Brian. I am very glad to “meet” your handsome son. Does he enjoy people?

    I have a suggestion about “elopement” too; there could be a technological fix, not so much for his running away (that’s the door lock and vigilance thing…phew…) but when it comes to finding him. Here in Maine, we’ve been looking into a GPS monitor that looks like a wristwatch but can allow you (or local law enforcement) to locate a vulnerable person swiftly. I don’t know, but I’m hoping they’ll soon have ones that can be “read” by first responders, allowing them to know what Ian’s challenges are so they can take care of him more effectively if they encounter him on the move alone? The pilot project is focusing on Altzheimer’s patients, but it might work for Ian, too?

    This has come up before, thanks. Unfortunately Ian won’t wear anything on his wrists. It’s a tactile aversion thing. He can’t stand bandages, stitches, stickers and will rip them off or out as soon as he can. Also won’t wear hats, sunglasses. And I’m not really inclined to chip him. His escapes are less frequent, maybe once every two years he will attempt one but either his caregiver or I will be able to run him down.

    • #8
    • February 4, 2019, at 1:51 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  9. She Thatcher
    She

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

    Thank you, Brian. I am very glad to “meet” your handsome son. Does he enjoy people?

    I have a suggestion about “elopement” too; there could be a technological fix, not so much for his running away (that’s the door lock and vigilance thing…phew…) but when it comes to finding him. Here in Maine, we’ve been looking into a GPS monitor that looks like a wristwatch but can allow you (or local law enforcement) to locate a vulnerable person swiftly.

    Please do not take this the wrong way, but I have a person in my life I increasingly worry about “losing.” I also have two very large purebred dogs. They’re spayed and neutered and are both rescues, so as breeding stock they’re not valuable. But strangers wouldn’t know that, and the dogs have a tendency to roam if they find a gap under the fence, or if someone inadvertently leaves a gate open. I used to worry myself sick that I’d lose them, or that they’d get on the Interstate (not all that far away), or that someone would take them, as they are, in spite of their size, ridiculously friendly. I have “Whistle” GPS tags on them. It is the sort of thing you describe. Bulky wristwatch size, and it snaps onto their collar. I drew a circle in the “app” around the “whistle zone” I wanted Xena and Levi to stay within (a satellite map of my property), and I get email and text alerts when they go outside it, at which point I can turn on tracking, and find them. The technology is amazing. I once found them, very quickly, almost two miles away in the woods. I couldn’t possibly have done it without the tags. There have been a few particularly trying days, believe me, when I’ve contemplated getting my “person” one of these tags.

    I hope someone is researching and perfecting the technology for humans, and that there is an acceptable and humane way of using it which respects the privacy of the individual, but makes it easy to call the “find” feature into action when it’s truly needed. It could be a godsend. And a life-saver.

    • #9
    • February 4, 2019, at 1:59 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. Henry Racette Contributor

    Facebook has a little heart icon you can use instead of “like.” I’ve never wished we had the silly thing on Ricochet. Until just now.

    • #10
    • February 4, 2019, at 2:13 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  11. KentForrester Coolidge

    Doug, thank you so much for your post. The video you provided was an eye-opener. Sometimes words are just inadequate to describe something important. In this case, only visuals will do. 

    That’s a heavy burden you’re carrying. May God bless both of you.

     

    • #11
    • February 4, 2019, at 2:18 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  12. Doug Watt Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Doug, thank you so much for your post. The video you provided was an eye-opener. Sometimes words are just inadequate to describe something important. In this case, only visuals will do.

    That’s a heavy burden you’re carrying. May God bless both of you.

    Wrong brother, it’s my wife that deserves God’s blessing for putting up with me.

    • #12
    • February 4, 2019, at 2:26 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  13. Spin Coolidge

    Brian, why are you hollering at him in that high pitched voice? Doesn’t seem nice.

    • #13
    • February 4, 2019, at 2:43 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Percival Thatcher

    I can’t think of anything to say, except God bless you both.

    • #14
    • February 4, 2019, at 3:28 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  15. Sweezle Member

    Thank you Brian and Ian. Do his doctor(s) have a theory about why he is running away less frequently? What are his other talents? 

     

    • #15
    • February 4, 2019, at 5:51 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. D. Ritsas Inactive

    God bless Ian, his papa, and all the people in his life who love him and care for him. 

    • #16
    • February 4, 2019, at 5:52 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  17. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    Sweezle (View Comment):

    Thank you Brian and Ian. Do his doctor(s) have a theory about why he is running away less frequently?

    No, they tend to be more focused on other issues relating to his moods.

    What are his other talents?

    He can recite entire scenes from Disney films at easily 2x or 3x the speed of the original, playing all the parts, which draws on his memory. Of course, his enunciation isn’t good, so to the untrained ear it’s difficult to decipher…but since I’ve been around him than more than most folks (and watched or listened to the same films dozens of times), I’m able to identify the film immediately. I’m not sure that’s a marketable talent because even the legalese for TV or radio ads for prescription medications and real estate requires crisper enunciation, especially on the consonants and that subject matter wouldn’t interest him.

     

     

     

    • #17
    • February 4, 2019, at 6:05 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  18. Jules PA Member

    💞

    • #18
    • February 4, 2019, at 6:16 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  19. Jules PA Member

    What is Ian’s favorite Classical work?

    Has he ever played a marimba, xylophone, or other instrument?

    • #19
    • February 4, 2019, at 6:18 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  20. AQ Member
    AQ

    It’s a gift to us to get to see what fatherly love looks and feels like.

    • #20
    • February 4, 2019, at 6:43 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  21. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    What is Ian’s favorite Classical work?

    Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Beethoven’s 5th and 6th Symphonies, The Classical Symphony by Prokofiev, Symphony #3 by Camille Saint-Saens (The Organ Symphony), “O min bambino Caro” from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini (the theme from Room With A View), Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker – especially the Russian Dance. For film music, he enjoys anything by John Williams (Star Wars, Jurassic Park, The Cowboys), Bruce Broughton’s theme for SilveradoVictory at Sea by Richard Rodgers, soundtracks by Bernard Herrmann (especially Vertigo and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir), and the suite from the film Prince Valiant by Franz Waxman, also various scores by John Barry, and the overture to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!.

    Has he ever played a marimba, xylophone, or other instrument?

    I’ve bought him three electronic keyboards. Two are gathering dust. Not sure if I even have the first one anymore. He loses interest them quickly. He got an inexpensive guitar for Christmas. I tuned it for him but after about a week he was trying to rip out the strings. It’s in the garage now hiding out.

    • #21
    • February 4, 2019, at 6:50 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  22. Jules PA Member

    Those are great musical selections!!!

    Sorry about the instruments. 😢 

    • #22
    • February 4, 2019, at 6:57 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… Inactive

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    What is Ian’s favorite Classical work?

    Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Beethoven’s 5th and 6th Symphonies, The Classical Symphony by Prokofiev, Symphony #3 by Camille Saint-Saens (The Organ Symphony), “O min bambino Caro” from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini (the theme from Room With A View), Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker – especially the Russian Dance. For film music, he enjoys anything by John Williams (Star Wars, Jurassic Park, The Cowboys), Bruce Broughton’s theme for Silverado, Victory at Sea by Richard Rodgers, soundtracks by Bernard Herrmann (especially Vertigo and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir), and the suite from the film Prince Valiant by Franz Waxman, also various scores by John Barry, and the overture to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!.

    Has he ever played a marimba, xylophone, or other instrument?

    I’ve bought him three electronic keyboards. Two are gathering dust. Not sure if I even the first one anymore. He loses interest them quickly. He got an inexpensive guitar for Christmas. I tuned it for him but after about a week he was trying to rip out the strings. It’s in the garage now hiding out.

    I like his classical and show tunes playlist…Thanks, Ian!

     

    • #23
    • February 4, 2019, at 7:05 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. Nohaaj Coolidge

    Hugs. Someone mentioned a burden. I do not see it that way. Difficult to be sure. trying and frustrating, at many times, but Ian and your devotion to him is not a burden. It is the full fruition of your true, unconditional love. God Bless.

    • #24
    • February 4, 2019, at 7:06 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  25. Percival Thatcher

    Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    What is Ian’s favorite Classical work?

    Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Beethoven’s 5th and 6th Symphonies, The Classical Symphony by Prokofiev, Symphony #3 by Camille Saint-Saens (The Organ Symphony), “O min bambino Caro” from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini (the theme from Room With A View), Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker – especially the Russian Dance. For film music, he enjoys anything by John Williams (Star Wars, Jurassic Park, The Cowboys), Bruce Broughton’s theme for Silverado, Victory at Sea by Richard Rodgers, soundtracks by Bernard Herrmann (especially Vertigo and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir), and the suite from the film Prince Valiant by Franz Waxman, also various scores by John Barry, and the overture to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!.

    Has he ever played a marimba, xylophone, or other instrument?

    I’ve bought him three electronic keyboards. Two are gathering dust. Not sure if I even the first one anymore. He loses interest them quickly. He got an inexpensive guitar for Christmas. I tuned it for him but after about a week he was trying to rip out the strings. It’s in the garage now hiding out.

    I like his classical and show tunes playlist…Thanks, Ian!

     

    Indeed.

    I was listening to a little Victory at Sea yesterday while watching some of the episodes on YouTube. Great stuff.

    • #25
    • February 4, 2019, at 7:12 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  26. Cow Girl Thatcher

    That is a very lovely playlist. I, too, was wondering if he would be interested in creating his own music. I have taught students who were “on the spectrum” and I have a deep respect for your love and diligence. He deserves nothing less. God bless you both. In the next life, Ian will be able to express his love for you.

    • #26
    • February 4, 2019, at 10:38 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  27. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    Cow Girl (View Comment):

    That is a very lovely playlist. I, too, was wondering if he would be interested in creating his own music. I have taught students who were “on the spectrum” and I have a deep respect for your love and diligence. He deserves nothing less. God bless you both. In the next life, Ian will be able to express his love for you.

    Thanks. He does express his love for me in this life now with the occasional hug. He’s also walked into my home office while I’m working on the computer and kissed me on top of my balding skull. 

    • #27
    • February 4, 2019, at 11:46 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  28. Spin Coolidge

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Sweezle (View Comment):

    Thank you Brian and Ian. Do his doctor(s) have a theory about why he is running away less frequently?

    No, they tend to be more focused on other issues relating to his moods.

    What are his other talents?

    He can recite entire scenes from Disney films at easily 2x or 3x the speed of the original, playing all the parts, which draws on his memory. Of course, his enunciation isn’t good, so to the untrained ear it’s difficult to decipher…but since I’ve been around him than more than most folks (and watched or listened to the same films dozens of times), I’m able to identify the film immediately. I’m not sure that’s a marketable talent because even the legalese for TV or radio ads for prescription medications and real estate requires crisper enunciation, especially on the consonants and that subject matter wouldn’t interest him.

    We’ve got a friend who keeps a young woman that suffers from some form of hydrocephalus. The young lady is confined to a wheelchair, and cannot take care of herself in any capacity. To be honest with you: I’m super, super uncomfortable around people with these sorts of disorders. I’m sorry about that. I wish I was more like my wife, who is capable of such love and tenderness. Anyway…I digress. I asked our friend this question: “Is she aware of you? Does she take joy in knowing you are around?” So our friend made a short video of her phone and asked the girl the questions. Though she cannot talk and has very little control of her body in general, she brightened up at the questions. She made noises. Our friend said “That’s how we know the answer to your question is ‘Yes!'” 

    It may be more obvious with your son, Brian, but I ask the same question (though I think I may know the answer): Is Ian aware of you? Does he take joy in knowing you are around?” 

    I am not a psychologist, so I don’t know what I’m talking about. But I do believe in the human soul. And I think the soul is in there, and cognitive in some way. And I think the soul looks out of the eyes and sees the world, hears the world through the ears, but the brain isn’t working right so doesn’t relay the information properly. Even so, the soul knows. The soul knows when you are kind to Ian, or whomever. The soul connects to your soul. And I think there will come a day, Brian, when you are worshipping the King side by side with Ian in his perfect body. And Christ will say to you: “Well done, god and faithful servant!” And Ian will put his arm around you and thank you for the grace and dignity you’ve shown him.

    • #28
    • February 5, 2019, at 6:19 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Front Seat Cat Member

    He looks very well cared for. I laughed when he slipped off the spiral thing on the second to the last step and got back on to finish. Do you think he escapes partly because he has pent up energy and likes to run? Would he benefit from a track somewhere or would he take off? 

    That brought tears to my eyes, for many reasons – the special role of fathers, the sacrifices of parents of challenged children, the examples of selflessness and love to the rest of the world, especially of a world that seems to think that imperfection is a reason to end a life at any stage of pregnancy. God smiles on you both.

    • #29
    • February 5, 2019, at 6:22 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  30. PHCheese Member

    Brian, he seems happy. That is a testament to your love and devotion to him. 

    • #30
    • February 5, 2019, at 6:23 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
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