Friday, August 17, 2012

Just every day ordinary with a bright and shiny boy

You know how when you're in the midst of what feels like a very hard time with your child and you temporarily forget how all kinds of awesome they are? You know, like when you have to watch your kid 24/7 or you'll end up with a mess to clean up or worse? And when your kid, who had been sleeping like a professional and who had even been yawning and going to sleep without melatonin suddenly is up until all hours of the night and keeping the rest of the household up, too?  And like when you hear the anxiety, frustration and well, sometimes anger, seeping out of you through the tone of your voice and you dislike yourself immensely? Well, it makes it kind of hard to write the blog post you want to write because those really are not the most remarkable things about your kid. They aren't the things you want to tell the world about your bright and shining boy. But sometimes you're so far down in the muck that you don't have the energy to look up and see the shining bits.

So, even though there is all that, I will tell you about the awesomeness of my boy instead because the shining bits, the ones full of grace and goodness, are the ones that make me want to write.

I'm beginning to suspect that Oliver really does remember everything he sees and hears.

Yesterday when asked by his brother if he remembered his birth, Oliver said: "I remember waiting at Gram's house. Then I saw you in Mom's room." I asked him who else was there and he got that right, too.  He was only two when Sami was born. Maybe this isn't so unusual, but I would never have guessed he remembered it. You know, because even though that was pre-diagnosis, he just seemed so out of it during those years.

And he remembers other things, too: like details of the stories of Greek mythology that I've been reading to the kids. Dates and facts about the ancient Mayans that we studied last Fall. The color of the jerseys of the teams playing in the European Cup soccer matches we watched earlier this summer. Definitions to words that he saw in the new dictionary I gave him. And, from a radio program playing in the background as we made supper a few nights ago, why mantis shrimp see way more colors than dogs, butterflies or humans. Even when it has appeared that Oliver was tuning us out, he was taking it all in. All of this surprises and delights me -- all of it.

It's been about four months now since Oliver started communicating with us, telling us what he is thinking and feeling and letting us in on what he knows. Every day with this guy feels a little like a miracle. Like a gift I unwrap layer by layer. And it's amazing how in the day-to-day that kind of gets lost. How I take it for granted that he will cross the room to sit down next to me and take the pen I'm holding so that he can answer a question or tell me something. Or to argue with me. All these things that I had almost given up hoping for have become every day, ordinary.

How often does that happen to each of us in our life?


  1. It is so lovely to hear about your family again, and as usual I am nodding at your truths. My boy went back to school this week, and his aide was thoroughly impressed by this leaps in communication and development that took place over the summer -- observations that gave me much pause to consider what had crept up on me. I actually found myself trying to get the boy to stop telling me a story the other day in the car until I caught how CRAZY that is; how many years did I spend dreaming of the day when he would be able to do just that? We have bright and shiny boys, and I don't want to forget that!

  2. Glad to see you blogging again! I hope you'll write a memoir someday, because your thoughts and insights about your family and about yourself as a mother are so eloquent and rich.

    I often find that, with one of my kiddos in particular, I get so weighed down with the struggles that I forget to step back and look at the "big picture." Every once in a while, I have to force myself to do this.