Monday, November 09, 2009

A long, cool, drink of water...

It has been a brutally long few weeks around here. The list of things that have our lengthy. First and foremost, we've been sick. Every darn stinkin' one of us. And then my computer crashed. (It had a virus, too. Go figure.) And then we all got sick AGAIN.

This is going to sound rather naive, but I don't really GET sick. A day......maybe. But day after day after day? Very rarely. I've always been pretty darn healthy, as is everyone else in our house. I get tired.......I get very bone-tired.........but I don't get sick.

The last few weeks, I have felt the weight of the world pressing down on me. Exhaustion......sickness.........more exhaustion........I had nothing left to give and the world was looking pretty darn bleak. Of course, with Jennica's needs that are absorbing such huge amounts of my energy, and now with little energy to give, I started to wonder, "WHY??" Why are we doing this? Why are we doing that? How do I know that my time and money wouldn't be better spent here or there? How do I continue to put one foot in front of the other not knowing if we're gaining any ground? I'm so so so so tired. And then the age-old question--Is the child improving at all, or are we just catering her environment around her to create the illusion of improvement?

And then, I was given today. I say "given" because I am truly viewing it as a GIFT. A reason to keep going. An inspiration. A high point in a long and winding road that stretches far into the distance.

Today, Jennica had her normal, weekly therapy appointment. Her therapist has moved into a brand-new building built specifically for them, which is hugely exciting for all of us, but can also spell big trouble for little bodies that don't transition well to new places/routines. Honestly, I expected a meltdown at the door, as......well.....everything that can be difficult has been lately. In any case, Jennica marched into the new "digs" with a smile. She spent the next hour verbalizing everything she did. She laughed aloud as she careened wildly on the new swings. And........drum roll here..........she initiated a visual diagonal during a fine motor task!!! She not only copied it. She initiated it! (Trust me here........this is HUGE!) And then she laughed and played more! No meltdowns. No fights. No bargaining. No whining. Only active participation, reciprocal conversation, shared decision-making over activities, and genuine signs of self-comfort in a strange environment without constant reinforcement that she was "safe".

I've cried tears today over the relief of the hour that I witnessed. It was an hour that a parent of a "typical" child never thinks to treasure. Until you have one that struggles to feel at home in their own skin. Who knew that an hour of "normal" could be so utterly earth-shattering that a tired Mom could be driven to tears? And encouraged to keep going.

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