A few months ago I let down my guard and lamented to a friend that I would give anything -- anything -- if Oliver would talk. That's when she told me that she wished she had my problem because it felt like there were days when she couldn't get her daughter to shut up. Aside from that being just an incredibly stupid thing to say, it made me realize that sometimes it is really difficult to "get" someone else's problems unless you've put on their proverbial shoes. But I've made a real effort this summer to kick off my shoes, proverbial, metaphorical and otherwise and spend some time walking barefoot, feeling the earth, wet from a child's afternoon romp under the sprinkler, squish up between my toes. And it feels good. It feels right. I'm tired of my shoes and I'm not about to try on anyone else's either. So I've made a lot of excuses, let the phone ring the machine will get it, turned down invitations, left early when it didn't feel right and just generally tried to keep my feet in close contact with the earth in my own little patch of backyard.
Yesterday I spent some time with Oliver laying in the grass in our backyard, gazing up at the tree and the sky and the clouds. It has been a long time since I did that, maybe since I was a child myself. It reminded me what it is like to be a little person in a big person's world. It was also quite itchy laying in the grass like that.
Oliver is making some progress though on his use of language. He is repeating more: both immediately and delayed. If I help him point to objects and then label them he will ususally try to repeat what I've said if I give him the space and time. Or if he is upset or confused he might also repeat what was just said. I know this is a good sign but I am also trying hard not to get so excited that I begin to pressure him into performing.
The three words for celebration this week are: "Bye", "Oliver", and "Yes". All of which have consistently been heard from a little special someone who moves me beyond words.