Slowly but surely Oliver is becoming more tuned into his surroundings. I first noticed it in a concrete sense two weeks ago. Suddenly free one afternoon, I loaded the kids in the car and took them to a nearby hiking trail. It's not much of a trail but it does cross over a small stream and Oliver likes to stand on the weedy bank and throw stones into the water. Normally, we go as a family and so, one parent to one child, it works out. This time it was just me and the kids and I was overjoyed to find that Oliver actually responded to my request that he stop and wait for me when he got too far ahead on the trail. The first time he did it I thought it must be some sort of fluke but sure enough he responded two or three more times when I had to call out to him. Since then I've noticed that he also responds more frequently to other requests throughout the day.
Curiously, this "progress" is coming on the heels of my own epiphany that Oliver does things in his own time. I used to think that his lack of immediate action following a request was non-compliance, but gradually I've come to understand that I just need to be more patient. And so I wonder how many times in his short lifetime I've mis-judged his understanding and abilities because I simply haven't given him the time he needs. So, in this symbiotic family unit of ours, I find that what many (including myself) would see as progress on his part, is directly tied to progress of my own!
I wonder how much these new awarenesses are tied into the change of the seasons? Spring is a time for awakenings and I certainly see signs of it everywhere I look. And in our little green house we are all walking around with a bounce in our step -- figuratively as well as literally as I spent the greater part of last Thursday evening assembling this. Oliver has taken an occasional interest in it -- especially when he is supposed to be sleeping -- and Sam LOVES it.
We also recently purchased our tickets for Switzerland, where we will vacation this summer at the home of Nik's mother. We skipped our annual trip last year because of everything going on with Oliver and the new baby. The last time we were there Oliver was just 18 months old and still hitting all of his milestones as far as we were aware. We are taking one of Oliver's favorite therapists with us (She will be newly graduated and has agreed to stay on with us for a year before heading to graduate school to formally study ABA. ) and so I am hoping that the trip will be relaxing and enjoyable for all of us. It is certainly well-deserved!
And so I find myself barely into spring and already looking forward to summer while simultaneously (re) learning that patience is what gets us from one season to the next.