Thursdays are J-bear’s playgroup. I will never be able to say enough about how awesome the children, parents and staff involved with this group are. We have such an amazingly dynamic group of adults with a bunch of hilarious children.
Today, for example, all the children went under the parachute together! They laughed and laughed! After seeing some of these children not interact or laugh at all, this was such a thing of beauty.
That’s what life is all about, those sparkling little moments you need to seize and treasure.
A lot of my parents and grandparents generation have stated to me that “we spend so much time teaching them to walk and talk just to tell them to sit down and shut up” when it comes to discussing this generation of little ones. They are so right in some ways. There are days I very much wish J-bear was capable of sitting still without being desperately ill or asleep. I can’t find myself actually wishing him to completely sit down and shut up though.
This is by no means a nomination for sainthood. Shoot, I caught the little guy by the lip today when he came running and I didn’t notice how close he was to the dishwasher door as I lifted it to close it. Human? Filled with flaw? That might as well be tattooed on my forehead.
I waited a year for J to speak. A year to have my son look up at me and say something, with clear and definite meaning. He had babbled in those first months venturing towards the development of communication but what words he’d gain held no meaning and disappeared. It was when we added in more intensive therapies that the key began to turn in the lock which before had been stuck. He spoke to me. He signed to me. It was imperfect and the vocabulary limited but my son spoke to me. His little voice, even when he turns it up to 11 amidst his experimentation to learn how to modulate everything he does, is one of my most favorite sounds.
This past Christmas no one stood a chance in topping the gift he gave me. He had climbed into our Big Red Chair and looked up at me as I went to pick him up. He met my gaze with a presence so rare for him, a clear and lucid directness that one only sees in fleeting glimpses. It lingered for almost a minute as he smiled and said ‘Mama’. It is the first and only time I have ever seen or heard him say it.
I never need to hear it again, though it would be nice to do so. It was perfect. It turned into a moment forever etched on my heart.
The key I have found to coping is going day to day. I know my son oh so well, as most parents do with their own children, yet there’s always those curveballs that come up. A skill he might not have had down pat today could be that which comes easiest tomorrow. Words he used with casual and spontaneous ease today might vanish next week only to return again a month later – or never again, to be replaced by other actions. It all keeps changing, sometimes faster than my mind and heart would like, but the little moments of pure joy linger on like a light in the darkness to lead me forward.
I live each day for the joy he brings me in exchange for having his needs met and his wants considered and explored. The sacrifices are tough but the cost of not making them is too painful to consider. These children are only this small for this long and only this receptive for this long. There are so many things out there to make me sad. I do not want one of them to be myself asking down the road “why didn’t I do more?”.
If anyone happens to read this and has ideas for something to post about, I’m very open to hearing them! You can contact me via comment or at galebird at gmail dot com. Hopefully I can master this wordpress thing and start including some nice picture posts soon!