Sunday, May 17, 2009

I'm not really sure what to call this one...

Children really are a miracle unto themselves.

When your first child comes into your life, it's a whole new experience. Everything is amazing, and one tends to fuss over things that one never found amsuing before, and celebrate the smallest achievements as though they were the discovery for a cure for cancer.
Yet, somehow, you assume that certain things will happen, no matter how slowly or quickly those events transpire.
Your child will talk, walk, and potty train. They will tie their shoes. They'll learn to identify shapes, and colors. To count. To read.
When it will happen isn't so much an assumption, but that it will happen, well, that's a given, right?

As parents, we get frustrated when our preschooler is still having toileting accidents out of pure laziness, when our school ages child feigns helpless when being told to tie their shoes or zip a coat. We know that they know those things, and we know that they are capable... therefore we assume that the child will simply do them.

Not unrealistic by any means, but also not always the case.

All of those assumptions go right out the window if you have a child with special needs. Those milestones are no longer assumptions. They are victories.

If you don't have a child with any type of disability, take a moment an observe a parent who does. Watch that mom or dad watch their son as he runs bases or reads a passage from a book.
See the look of pride when their daughter is standing on roller skates for the first time, or paints a picture of a field filled with flowers and butterflies.
It's very humbling, and it makes me very grateful that my son isn't more severely delayed (it probably sounds sad to an outsider, but I take solace n the fact that it could always be worse), and I also feel a sense of understanding, because I get it. To a lesser extent, I live it.

Yesterday, wasn't about rejoicing over something that my kid did in spite of his disability. It was just about my kid being a kid.

Iain, in spite of his delays, has never had a problem with his gross or fine motor skills. He walked early, climbed like a monkey and has rather impressive coordination. Yet, because he was in a special education program, he received some occupational therapy.
That took his already decent GMS and FMS and made them sharp.

Iain swings a bat with decent accuracy, runs with a soccer ball and is quite the bowler. Why his immediate response to a bicycle surprised me, I am not really sure.

The boys and I went out to have lunch with Papa on Friday, as they didn't have school. Since Chris is building a school, and there's all kinds of equipment around, it's a fascinating experience for them (plus, they get a kick out of hanging out with dad during the work day).
After saying our "see you later"s to their father, we made a group decision that no one was ready to go home. Nice weather, busy stretch of suburban road... prime garage sale territory.

During one of our stops, we found a bike. Great shape - almost new - and cheap! Five bucks and it was hours. Fit nicely into the trunk, and I didn't even think about the size (a 16", when we were planning to buy a 20", and training wheel equip it for the summer ), assuming that we'd slap some training wheels onto it, and hand it directly to Spud, versus buying him a scooter, as we'd originally discussed.

After an afternoon in the Ninth Circle of Hell (or as many of you call, it, Chuck E. Cheese's), I decided to finally haul said aquisition out of the trunk, and see how well Iain did in terms of keeping the frame upright.
In short, we're not going to bother with training wheels. At least not until Iain fits onto a 20" bike and the smaller model gets handed to Braeden.

It's days like yesterday that offset the days of frustration, making them seem small and unimportant, even if only for a little while.
My son has developmental delays, but he's able to do some pretty awesome stuff. Like get onto an unsupported two wheeled bike and take off down the road like he's been riding on his own for weeks. Wobbly on the outside, but confident that he'll lick it and be racing with the big kids in no time. And he will be.

...and he had the good sense to ask for his helmet, which I LOVED.

Today has been a day par quo, of melt downs and reminders. Of pestering even after asking for the same thing ten minutes ago, only to forget before he makes it up the stairs.

But yesterday... yesterday I saw progress. And progress was an amazing feeling.