...in the midst of our craziness, Clara graduated last week from the physical therapy she was receiving through Maryland's Infants and Toddlers program for low-tone and torticollis. Since she is rolling all over the place, sitting up and playing, and doing triple axels, they didn't feel she would qualify for services in our new county.
She was first in her class and wore ruffles for an exuberant speech that involved a lot of raspberries. We didn''t have the heart to tell her she was the only kid in her class. Some day.
...thank you. From the bottom of our hearts. I woke up today feeling not as alone as yesterday. Charlie woke up the same happy, well-adjusted boy he was yesterday. And I think his eyelashes grew another five inches.
(Turn your volume up so you can hear Sesame's "zzzzz" song. One we dance to about 4,922 times a day).
"He was slow in learning to talk. 'My parents were so worried,' he later recalled, 'that they consulted a doctor'...He had such difficulty with language that those around him feared he would never learn." (Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson)
...when a baby is born, you count their fingers, their toes. You watch their chest moving up and down, up and down. And you breath a sigh of relief because they are here and they are perfect.
Charlie at about ten hours old.
You have dreams. Small dreams, big dreams. You see pre-school, kindergarten, baseball games, the prom, dropping them off at college, grilling them for their first interview, moving them into their first place, meeting "the" girl, helping them pick out a ring, yourself in a hideous mother-of-the-groom dress, a grandbaby, them dropping you off at the old folks home...
And then those dreams...They start to adjust...You see, Charlie will turn three in April and has never, not once, looked at me and said, "mama." And it makes every thing inside of me hurt.
When I hear a baby's innocent babbling of, "mamamamama" at a restaurant, something inside me hurts. When a friend talks about her daughter reciting the alphabet, something inside me hurts. When someone complains about their child not "shutting up" in the backseat, something inside me hurts.
A few months ago, we were at the store and he spontaneously said, "Hi," to the checkout clerk, who looked at me with pity as my eyes welled up with tears, not sure why I was crying about a toddler's innocent "Hi." It was the very first time I had ever heard him say a word, a real word, unprompted.
He has his own language, his own way of communicating with us. But it is not words. He is receiving speech therapy twice a week, which will increase with his upcoming birthday.
Everyone says, "He will be fine." His pediatrician, his speech pathologist, random people on the street. And you probably will too. But I am his mom and when it's your child, "He will be fine" is not good enough. I want a crystal ball to show me.
He is loved. Oh God he is loved. He is sweet and kind and has eyelashes a grown woman would kill for. And as my friend Sharon said last week, you can see right to the goodness in his heart when he smiles. But I am filled with worry. I worry when someone looks at him sideways in a store when he is talking his language. I worry about how other kids will treat him. Kids are mean. I worry that his life will be too much therapy and not enough fun. I worry that I am doing something wrong, something so so so so wrong and that's why he's not talking.
But most of all, I worry
I don't care if he ever scores a homerun. Or if I never have to wear a hideous mother-of-the-groom dress. I just want him to talk. That's it.
I wrote this post a long time ago and have gone back and forth about whether I wanted to publish it or not. But in the end, I realized that more than anything, this blog is my memory-keeper. Years from now when Charlie is defending his Ph.D or making a speech at his wedding, I want to be able to look back, read this, and say to myself, "He is fine."
...in nine days we will be sleeping here under the big country sky (with no police helicopters. How odd).
Well, I guess I probably won't be sleeping in the great room. I might sleep in the kitchen though. There's a trash compactor behind there. I love compacting trash.
I think I will probably spend the first night organizing and then reorganizing the shelves in this beauty:
I have never, ever been so excited about laundering:
...or shaving my legs:
This week will be busy. New paint color, screens on the porch, carpet in the bedrooms, mirrors on the walls, gravel in the driveway, patio in the back, landscaping in the beds. And for me? Counting the hours. Counting the hours.
I stopped at Mercer's awesome rental last night (we are living parallel lives, but I'll save that for another post) after visiting Molly Marine and my phone started exploding with texts. You see, Lehigh's gone to the dance before. And they've even given the other team a run for their money before. But Duke?
I had a doctor's appointment the other day and he asked where I went to school and when I said Lehigh, he made some smart remark about what a "good" game it should be this weekend. Yeah, maybe I should call him on Monday and see if he watched that good game.
I imagine thousands of Lehigh alums were scouring their wardrobes today not for some green, but for some good ol' brown and white.
PS - Even typepad's spellchecker doesn't know what Lehigh is.
...charlie woke up early. And we realized that Clara was still asleep and had been that way for the last 13 hours. So we celebrated (in our heads, because any loud celebration might WAKE THE BABY).
And then we did a double-take. Had she been asleep for 14 hours? And why were all our clocks wrong? No, no wait. Daylight savings. First time both of us have completely not known about it.
Then we took a family trip to IKEA. Because nothing says "FUN!" like an almost-three-year-old and his infant sister in IKEA. We were in and out within 45 minutes (including a diaper change, bottle, and lunch). How things have changed. Ken and I reminisced about our pre-kid trips to IKEA which didn't involve sprinting down aisles to take pictures of things we want to buy.
I have two IKEAs within driving distance. Do you hate me just a little bit?
Clara was not so impressed and wanted to know where the celebration was we had promised her. Do you like the latte spill on my stroller? Classy.
Then we drove out to the little house. Our front and back yards have been graded, and I have to say I'm going to miss the good ol' mudpit.
We went to the park near our house where we swung.
(That's a cell phone tower. Our house might be in the middle of the woods but we have awesome cell reception).
And Charlie watched baseball and wanted to play sooooo bad. He starts t-ball next month.