“One should take children’s philosophy to heart. They do not despise a bubble because it bursts. They immediately set to work on another one.” ~ Keynote
As you know by now, while we as a family and myself personally move forward constantly “trying” to add more and more sugar to our proverbial lemons to make sweet lemonade, there are times when the sugar runs low. When I can’t seem to find a cup to borrow from a neighbor because I don’t have the energy or the heart to ask, or if perhaps if there is still some left, I don’t have the wherewithal to continue to dig deep into the container to scoop out what little seems to remain. I get tired.
Hour after hour I sit on our increasingly greying once-khaki-colored carpet repeating exercise after exercise with E. Pushing her while rationalizing and assessing her protests with a highly-trained interpretive ear. Agitation, irritation, frustration, pain. Each noise is a different variation of wounded animal. If I didn’t know for sure that it was my eggs and KSP’s swimmers that created her, I might think that someone at my fertility clinic mixed in a tiger and/or a shark based on her cries and the sharpness of her teeth.
The cries or giggles depending on the day vary based on her tiredness, the status of her teeth and the “situation” with her bowel movements. She pushes on and so do I.
6 weeks ago as I started out in my new phase of working from home, I set a goal for her, for us, that she would be able to sit up from a lying position on the floor in a months time. It’s a huge milestone to be able to get off your back into a sitting position.
As the weeks and the repetition progressed she came closer and closer to just getting there….almost, just another iiiiinnnnchhh…and back she would fall.
Motor planning disorders are tricky business. You are literally teaching the brain the sequence of movements it needs to achieve a
goal, movement by movement. For anyone who has been pregnant, remember back to when you were quite large and you wanted to sit up from a lying down position. You had to think about rolling to your side to then push up from your side to then rotate your body to finally be in a seated position. Within the movements I just described there are several more, small minute points that you must accomplish in order to reach that seated position. For all of you men out there, think about this the next time you are on the floor of your TV room watching something and go to get up. When you start to connect the dots, it’s not so easy.
They say it takes 2,000 hours of repetition to train the brain to pattern a movement. That’s a lot of hours and a lot of hope fed into each repetition. Hope that perhaps this time it will work. That this time you are so close. In some ways, it’s like trying to get pregnant once you decide you want to have a baby. Every month you think you have all the symptoms so perhaps,this month it worked.
At some point you run low on your reserves of sugar for the lemonade. All the work and the hope drain you physically and emotionally, but then sometimes all you need is “just enough” sugar and out of nowhere your container is full again.
The 30 day window for our goal had come and gone but really only existed to give us something to work toward. My hope was not hung on the timeframe, it was hung on signs of progress. E was progressing nicely but she just couldn’t seem to get over the final hump. We had plateaued for a bit.
Yesterday as I settled onto the floor, I could feel the wear and tear. The slow creeping exhaustion, my reserves were low. I silently asked for progress. Just a little something.
With E’s 2 year molars pounding relentlessly on her gums, she has been attached to her Sophie giraffe. I used to make fun of that giraffe as the world’s most expensive chew toy, but as E and Q’s fondness grew, so did my own and as of yesterday Sophie officially became my hero as I think she heard my silent plea.
As I held Sophie off to E’s right side and frantically pressed in and out to which she responded with frantic squeaking, E reached toward her. I could see the strain and she buried her right hand into the carpet for support as she reached, stretching, desperate to grab the squeaking Sophie.
Squeak, squeak, squeak….the sounds of E straining with delight got louder as did my shouts.
“Reach Emma, reach! Keep going, you can do it! Come get Sophie.”
My hands wanted to reach out and give her the input to get her body to cross over. With one leg straight as an arrow she had to find the strength in her core. And then, in slow motion, she reached, she rotated in the air and she grabbed Sophie and there she was sitting up for from a lying position on the floor for the first time ever. On her own, with no help. At 2 years, 4 months and 26 days,
I shrieked with glee, grabbed her, hugged her tightly and bounced her in front of me as she stuck Sophie’s head in her mouth to drool all over her now spotless head. With saliva running down her chin, I excitedly kissed her tiny features.
She had worked so very hard for this moment and in the end, Q, me, my dad, Nana H and Sophie all bore witness to this greatest of achievements. A step toward more independence and “just enough” to keep us moving forward with hope. Yesterday a request for “just enough” sugar today became an overflowing sugar container with ever so so sweet lemonade for all.
Sometimes life overwhelms us, drains our strength, demands more than we think can give. In those times we sometimes need “just enough” to keep our sugar container from being empty. “Just enough” to keep us going. A call from a friend, an encouraging word, a small reminder from a squeaking giraffe and we can keep going, we can keep the hope alive and we have far more strength and hope that we ever knew possible. Our children in their purity and innocence celebrate the moments. They celebrate each new bubble instead of focusing on the ones that burst or never inflate. Today, I opened a bottle of bubbles and as I blow them, I am reminded that in that breath, is ‘mynewfavoriteday.’ If someone you know may be low on a little sugar for their life’s lemonade why not reach out and just offer a cup. It can make it a ‘newfavoriteday’ for you both.
Linking up with Bruna at “Let Bee Friends Friday!”