"Look At Me"

"Look At Me"
monotype and screenprint

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Not So Little Things

It is easy to get caught up in the day to day hum-drum of life.  Especially when you're exhausted.  One day blurs into the next and nothing ever seems to change.  But, one day, when you stop and look back, you suddenly realize that everything has changed.  

Little things happen every day.  But, as you know, when you have a kid with special needs, the little things are never little.

I don't have any big, monumental stories to tell you.  At least, none that will smack you between the eyes and make you say, "Oh, wow--Derek did that???" (No, my son didn't memorize the Gettysburg Address.)  But I do have lots of "little," every day stories.  In my book, they are just as good.

Yesterday Derek didn't want to take a bath.  So I told him I would blow bubbles for him.  It was one of the best nights ever.  He laughed and laughed and tried to pop the bubbles with his fingers, his toes, and even his face.  I reveled in the moment.  Just two years ago, Derek hated baths.  I remember days of having to chase him around the house and carry him to the bath, kicking and screaming.  I'd wash his hair while he cried big, elephant tears.

My son loves baths now.  And bubbles.  (A little thing that's not so little.)

Then today, when I dropped Derek off at school, he greeted a girl in his class.  He said hi to her without any prompting.  And when he saw his buddy J arrive, he got excited and said, "There he is!"

Derek is making friends.  (Definitely not little.)

The other day I forgot to buy apples, and Derek always has an apple for lunch.  (It's one of the only fruits/vegetables he eats.)  So I packed a box of raisins into his lunch box and hoped for the best.  His para told me later that he was thrilled and exclaimed, "I like raisins!"

Derek is talking more.  And more.  And he's getting better about adapting to changes!  (Not little.) 

Yes, we still have a long way to go.  Derek still thinks that every day is Wednesday (it's like Groundhog Day!)  He also told me he lives in December.  Since his birthday, he's been confused about his age.  And he can't count backwards from 10 to save his life.  (Six, six, four, eight, six!)  But I remember where we were four years ago.  I remember where we were just two years ago.  He's come a long way--a couple steps here, a couple steps there, a hop, a skip, a spin, and of course, a hand-flap or two.  

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