Monday, December 8, 2008

Better than that!

On the RTS list serv the other day Terri mom to Addie shared (click on Addie's name above to see her blog.) An event that happened in their house. We like to share these things on the list serv, we call them small victories, or brag alerts, this story touched me, reminded me of how blessed I am in my new normal. Please enjoy........

"Got to share a small victory with you all. And you know I like to make a short story long.... Winter bites. There is so much complication with coats, boots, slipping, dawdling etc. I just really do not like how I sound in during the morning routine with my girls - nagging, rushing, exasperated. It doesn't help that our front and back halls have narrowed to barely a foot's width due to the layers of drying boots, mittens, indoor shoes...... I suppose if I set everyone's alarm an hour earlier and actually moved things once they were dry it might be a bit better. So snow pants and boots these past few days have added a layer of fussing. Cate, of course can do her own, but she has that 9 year old problem with locating things, regardless of the fact that they may be in the same place they are every day. So that takes time and patience.
Addie's still getting used to even walking in boots and snow pants - working on getting them on herself will a task for another day. A few weeks back at school, I talked to Addie's teacher about how getting her own coat on is going. They do that flip thing where they lay it out on the floor and have her flip it over her head.
The great downfall with that method with Addie is that she ADORES the upside down tripod position. Truly, this is something she does at least 20 times per day and sometimes stays on her head, looking out between her ankles for a good 10, 15 minutes at a time. She does this everywhere and anywhere and it gets her a heaping pile of attention and comments, for certain. Toddlers and preschoolers often sidle up next to her and give it a whirl. Someone once told me that in Puerto Rico, when a child assumes this position, they are asking for a baby brother or sister. So when Addie does it, I automatically exclaim "No!", but I don't mean to stop her from doing it, just that there'll be no one else in diapers allowed in our house, is all. She totally ignores me, as she knows she should. So when she's encouraged to reach down during this flip method, she usually just settles in to her comfy spot.
The teacher said at school the coat thing is not going great because of this. I try it at home occasionally, but now that there is so much other stuff to put on, I slack and do it myself much of the time (for shame, I know!).
Today we're supposed to get about 5 more inches of snow. It hadn't started yet by school time so I lamed out and stuffed her snow pants into her backpack for them to deal with at recess. This saved us an extra minute, so I thought I'd throw her coat down and ask her to give the flip a shot again.
Before I could form my first encouragement, she spotted it.
She walked over, expertly bent, dipped her hands in the sleeves on the first try, flipped it up without losing balance.
I was motionless when she continued to roll her shoulders in a fluid movement to get the coat positioned. She was also turning to face me at the same time. Then she crossed her arms in front of her to grab either side of the coat together and then REACHED FOR THE ZIPPER! I swear to you, I have never even seen her try any of that before and she completed the whole process, with more than one action happening simultaneously in about 4 seconds flat. I was floored and she knew it. First she looked at me like "Duh, mom. Can I have my hat now?"
Then she recognized the "you amazed me again!" look and made the most of it. It's funny how quickly she recognizes that look - she preempts my taking a hug by rushing in to offer her accomplished little body into my arms. She giggles and signs proud before I can even say it.
I love when these little surprises happen. Even though Addie has known her whole life that anything is possible at any given moment, she knows I need reminders."

Don't you love it.....She knew her mom was proud, ran into her arms, and signed proud!!!!!

Its not what our kids can or cant do, its not about them walking or talking, eating or putting on their coat. Raising these kids forces you to notice whats small and beautiful, and we as their parents have to take joy in this. What a blessing to take joy in sitting up, taking a drink, signing proud, what a joy to not miss a smile, or just a sound, what a joy to not miss the things the rest of the world has no time to notice. We don't walk around with a vail of busy life over our eyes, we get to see whats better, through them. What an honor to have this gift. Thank you Addie for reminding me what a blessing all this is! You are my hero.

Raising a special needs child was never my dream, raising a special child is BETTER than that!

Thank you so much to Kari, and the student from Turner Jr. High for donating ornaments to go to the NICU in St.Louis on the 23rd of December. Keep paying it forward!



Marissa said...

How great is that?!?

You know, a year ago I would be out in public and see a family with "normal" children. In my bitterness I would wonder to myself if they knew just what they had and if they were thankful. I admit I still have those moments from time to time, but more often I ask myself "do they know what I have, how I am blessed?" What joy I am allowed to find in moments that they might consider ordinary and mundane, or maybe not even notice at all.

We special mommies are so blessed to be able learn these lessons from our kids. They teach us to be grateful for the small victories.

Thank you for sharing that story.


Marissa said...

Oh, and thank you for your sweet and encouraging words.

I hope everyone is on the mend in your house and it didn't spread to anyone else.