Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Excited to pray

Two nights a week, I put T to bed. Rob usually does the evening duties, but it is fun to have the chance to say goodnight to him and get nighttime snuggles before he drifts off to sleep. T likes to stick to routines – no surprise there – but Rob & I have managed to put our own spin on the evening bath time & reading routines. So from very early on I've sung a lullaby to him, and when I realized he was able to finish sentences, I taught him a little prayer as well. It is so very cute to hear his little voice finish each phrase and I love to hear it. Even so, I had gotten out of the routine because he likes to have three books read to him at bedtime, and by the time we are done with those, lately I've let the lullaby and prayer slip. But tonight I remembered to do them, and he was so happy! I started singing the lullaby and the biggest, most pleased grin spread across his face. When I started the prayer, his little fingers started rolling & strumming and he kicked his legs under the covers, vibrating all around – he was SO EXCITED to pray.

I happily went through our bedtime prayer – twice, even – thinking that I could learn a lesson from him about being excited to pray.

The last words of our prayer are "every day". Tonight, he repeated it to me. I said it back, and added that I love him every day, and every minute of every day. Then I said that I know he loves me, too. He looked at me intently, grinned, and said again "every day." "Yes, everyday. I love you every day. And you love me, too."

Every day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Life is good

It's been awhile since I've posted. This is primarily due to two over-riding facts: 1) I'm so busy with everyday life and 2) T is really doing very well. We're in a nice groove lately and it feels good. He continues to impress us with how much he understands spoken language. He has gained so much confidence in using words – it's terrific. The biggest change I've witnessed was from last spring's Motor Activity Clinic to this year's. He bonded right away with the college student assigned to him, and stuck with him throughout the two hour time period. They went in the pool together and the student (I'll call him J) got him to let his legs float out behind him and kick right away on the first day – last year it took weeks. (T prefers the Wrap Arms & Legs Around Person In Pool With You technique, so this was no small matter.) And during the hour of gym time, they moved between about 15 different activities – no eagle shrieks, no protesting – T just went with his new buddy J wherever J took him. No trouble whatsoever transitioning between activities - it was SO cool. About an hour & 45 minutes into the 2 hour session, T saw me, walked toward me and said "Mommy's car." Okay, he'd had enough and was tired. But even there, that communication was terrific: There's Mommy, and I'm ready to be done with this, so I want to go to Mommy's car now. But he was excited to go back the next week, even saying "pool" repeatedly on the drive downtown.

Side note: I have to say that I love his new speech. No, it is not typical – and I couldn't care less. It WORKS and it's CLEAR and I love it. When he wants to leave, he'll say "Mommy's car". When he wants to be left alone, he'll say "I'll be right back" (which is what I say to him each time I go in the bathroom to see if he's done sitting on the toilet and he's not done – he's transferred that phrase to me going away, so now he has a way to say "go away". Awesome!

Did I mention that he's potty trained? I think it is safe to say that we are there. He is potty trained. I pause here to recognize just how monumental that statement is. I think I've never been as close to panic and despair as I was all those months and years I put in sitting in the bathroom with him, hoping and praying that he'd someday poop in the toilet. It started mere days before his 7th birthday – his first poop in the potty – and he became more & more consistent until after a few months, pooping in the toilet consistently was no longer an issue – it was his habit and something he wanted to do. The next hurdle was getting him to tell us when he needed to pee. That took a little more work, but it was nothing compared to the years of work I put in encouraging him to poop. Then it was Pull Ups only for horseback riding and other longer excursions. No more. He's in big boy underwear 100% of the time during the day – diapers only overnight, and I can live with that! I'm so proud of him, and SO relieved. It's a freedom moment for mommy, too. He still tells us when he needs to go and we take him to the bathroom, but then he does it all by himself. Pretty soon he'll be completely independent, and I am filled with thankfulness and pride for all the hard work he's done.

I'll post another time about his new cranio-sacral therapist. She is a true gift to him and to us. She is in awe of him and loves working with him – and both Rob & I feel the same way about her.

My job is good. Work environment terrific, colleagues amazing. What's more: I come home every day knowing I've helped a fellow family with a special needs child. Rob's making good progress on his dissertation. And honestly, in this economy, we are thankful for having our home and for being able to provide for ourselves.

I'm kinda waiting for the other shoe to drop – have been for several months. Guess that's the expected side effect of years of trauma and angst. But the constant state of emotionally looking over my shoulder seems to be dissipating. I'm enjoying a lull from drama. It's all good. I better not regret typing that.

Another side note: Rob & I started brainstorming about writing an article on the emotional development or identity development of the special needs parent. In all our spare time. Hah.