I have a another post stored up inside of me as you might guess by my recent travels to NYC where I stayed across the World Trade Center Memorial, E’s neurology appointment, getting hit with a horrible stomach flu just after take-off on my way home to LA, on a plane which my reservation had been lost…oh yeah, I have words, but as you might expect, it all somehow fit into place, and so I will save my words for later this week, so they don’t just tumble out in a mumble jumble making no sense. And really, ‘mynewfavoriteday’ is not always meant to be reflected on in the past tense of days, perhaps sometimes, the past tense of hours can be even sweeter.
So today, because I finally feel better and my sickness seems to be gone, I am with my minis and KSP, in my home, I am cozy inside and out.
As I settle in my grey ‘dancey’ pants made of what may be one of the softest cottons I have ever felt, I am filled with warmth in reflecting on the past few hours allowing me to acknowledge two of the moments making today ‘mynewfavoriteday.’
It did not all start today, but rather is in some ways a culmination of thing beginning with a recent focus on Q’s speech. While he has enough words to be on track, his pronunciation is not solid on most of them and he is not putting words together. I am not overly concerned, but we did another speech evaluation last week to see if he would qualify for services.
As I at on the our white cushy carpet in our main room and watched the therapist as she asked him question after question, asking him to point at the objects she asked about, we got to descriptive terms.
Any time you take one of these skills tests, you are set up for parental failure. You walk an invisible line between cheering for your child and hoping they will be “considered” delayed enough to receive services to get them any intervention they might need. Either way, you fail.
If you cheer for them, perhaps you aren’t recognizing the red flags and transferring your concern for your special needs child to your “developmentally on-track, but perhaps just not quite ready yet child.” If you are wishing they will be “considered” delayed so they might receive services in case they need them, then you are hoping that they aren’t on-track.
Fail. Fail. Fail.
Q’s comprehension in remarkably high on so many levels, even the therapist was amazed. But then we got to big and little.
“Q, which is big?” she asked as she pointed at the car and the brush on the page.
Q stared at her with a blank look, softly bobbing his head side to side.
“Bug, which is big in this picture?” I asked, my voice slightly too high.
Fail. My heart raced as I waited for him to answer.
In the other room, I could hear E squealing with delight as her own speech therapist worked with her on receptive language skills.
Q stares at me blankly.
Relieved he didn’t know. Sad, he didn’t know. Have I failed to teach him the basic things?
He knows, other, next to, which of the ambiguous children is he or she 3 times in a row in a poorly drawn illustration, but he doesn’t know big and little.
Friday, I received the email, confirming he was denied services for speech therapy.
Today, as we went for a walk outside, we spent some time on big and little.
“That tree is big!” I would say.
“Theeeee!” Q would shout enthusiastically.
I could feel the feeling creeping up. You can do this. For both of us. I tried the same sequence again with the same results.
I could feel the rattle in E’s lungs as I carried her, the lingering effects of a 3 week cold. I decided it was time to abandon our vocabulary lesson and go home for a spontaneous breathing treatment. Worry for language was replaced by the familiar worry and preoccupation with E’s lungs.
The day progressed, and vocabulary lessons ebbed and flowed. More big, more little. Why did I care so much about big and little? Maybe because it was so basic. It seems so easy to teach. How could he know so much but not know this?
Tonight as we prepared the minis for bed, E indulged himself in some Olivia the Pig, and I gave E her bottle. In between a few “Mamaaaas” and quick hugs from Q, he delighted as Olivia broke her father’s bowling trophy and went on to learn a lesson about admitting and saying your sorry when we do something wrong.
This he seemed to get. Ok, maybe not, but he did smile and point and lot while yelling out and low, throaty grunt “Unnnngggghhhh” which means pig in Q.
As I finished with E, she settled peacefully into my shoulder. I felt her “littleness” against my shoulder. Her small heed fitting perfectly in the space between my clavicle bone and my shoulder joint. I could feel her soft breathing, she had fallen asleep. She never falls asleep at night on my shoulder. I was grateful to be big, so I could quietly walk her down the hall and gently place her in her crib. I kissed her softly on the head and came back out to get Q.
As I gathered his harem of bears, rabbit and now blanket, we was ready and waiting when I got back to the playroom. He reached up his little hand for mine and started down the hall. Only the light from the kitchen was available to guide our way. As we approached E’s door, I could see our shadows.
Me – big. Q – little.
My big hand holding his little hand in mine.
In my head I pointed and said, see Q, mama big. Q little. But, in that moment, I stopped myself. This wasn’t a vocabulary lesson, this was a moment with my Q. To remember the shadow as we walked, to see the grey outline of his arm reached up to my hand as they connected in a precious moment. As we padded toward his room, with his footy pajamas scratching against the hardwood floor.
Big, Little. I will stay big, he will get big. She will get big.
They will both learn big and little.
Soon they will tell me how big they are. How they aren’t little anymore.
To me they will always be little in some part of my heart.
So for today, I will take my littles. Enjoy them for being little. For not totally comprehending Big and Little. They will learn big and little, but they won’t stay little forever. Little makes today, ‘mynewfavoriteday.’
Is there any moment of “Big or Little” in your life that can make today ‘yournewfavoriteday?’