"Look At Me"

"Look At Me"
monotype and screenprint

Friday, November 30, 2012

Children Grow Like Weeds.

When friends or relatives haven't seen me in a while, they always say, "Oh, your children have grown so much!" They also tell me how much Derek is improving, and like to point out that I probably don't notice it, since I'm around him all the time. 

Guess what, folks?  I notice.  I consider it one of the grand privileges of being a stay-at-home mom.  I get to witness EVERYTHING.  I notice when one of my kids outgrows a shirt or can no longer button a pair of pants.  I notice when they can no longer squeeze into a pair of shoes.  I can physically SEE my children growing--right before my very eyes.  Much as I wish they'd slow down, they grow like dandelions in the summer. 

It's not just physically that they are growing, either.  They are growing as PEOPLE, too.  In the past year Derek has learned to talk. He answers simple questions, sings, and even says 3-5 word sentences.  And Tyler?  Tyler has learned to read, add and subtract.  Both of their brains are developing magnificently. 

They are both developing emotionally as well.  Derek is learning compassion, which is supposedly difficult for autistic individuals.  For example, I hit my head the other day.  He asked, "Are you ok?"  Then he hugged me.  When did he learn to do that?  He also thinks things are funny and laughs at appropriate times.  INCREDIBLE. 

Tyler is so complex it is mind-boggling.  He asks questions I can't even answer.  He wants to know EVERYTHING.  He asks about dinosaurs and how the earth was created and why Jesus wears a bathrobe and why angels are sometimes pictured naked...he asks about autism and why Derek has it and why he does NOT and if Derek will always be autistic...he asks how babies are created and why he and Derek were born into THIS PARTICULAR FAMILY...he asks why some kids have cancer and why some kids die...

Sometimes, "I don't know" is the only answer I can give. 

I think about my own life--I have changed a LOT in the past 5 years, that is for sure.  But compared to how much my children have changed in just 365 days?  It doesn't even compare.  I wonder sometimes if other parents are as awestruck by their children as I am.  I'm trying to cherish the moments.  I'm trying make everything count.   

Someday I will look back at these years and wonder where they went.  I will long for the cereal on the floor, the noise, and the dirty hands hugging my neck.  I'll long for the bouquets of dandelions they once picked for me.  But time refuses to stop.  My children might be growing like weeds, but really, they are turning into beautiful flowers. 

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