For quite a while I have wanted to write a post about how development delays create an emotional struggle within parents, more specifically within myself. For any parent there are days that are a complete struggle. Now add to that seeing four different therapists in the last two weeks, tracking while not judging every move your child makes, knowing that no matter what well meaning friends say your child is behind…they do things differently…there are challenges only they will face, struggling because your toddler hasn’t said any new words for 8 months yet they understand a billion new concepts, being a total helicopter parent even though you would really rather not…fact is your child just needs more help, and seeing that confused look from inquiring parents at the park “how old is he? oh… same as mine.” To be honest some days feel like poop, some days you wonder if they will ever move forward, some days you cry.
The last month has held some wonderful development leaps for our little guy. It is the most freakin AMAZING feeling to see him discover another layer of being. I can not really explain how elated you feel when missing pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place for your child. Yes all parents get this joy when their child reaches a milestone, but for parents of children with delays it is different.
It is different because for months, or even years, you have been watching for certain behaviour. You have been watching because you are highly aware and knowledgable due to the countless therapy sessions you have attended and articles you have scoured. Then BOOM there it is!!! and like a waterfall affect 50 more things fall into place, because that is how we learn. One foot in front of the other, one process leads to the next, the metamorphosis has a cycle.
Oh holy cow it just makes you so damn happy! Picture me skipping around the beach, ridiculously heavily pregnant, following my little man who has all of a sudden become focused on digging, tipping, pouring, sorting, posting!!OH MY!! We fill bottles in the ocean then run back to collect shells, he sits engrossed in play for an hour. A FREAKIN HOUR! A whole hour of focus where I haven’t needed to console him, save him from drowning or entertain him. No, we have just explored and played and felt joy.
Then this week NEW WORDS!!!! What the? did you just say? Oh gosh you did and look you said it again and that is a sound you have never made and there is two more words that sound similar and you are using them correctly and LOOK AT YOUR SMILE!
I know all parents have felt the joy, but I am sorry… it is not the same. So to all those out there who have struggled through the emotions of development delays, HOORAY TO YOU. Hooray to those moments when your heart swells and it swells for your children who LIGHT UP with the new discovery that has come to them with more time and effort then others realise exists.
These are the days when magic happens.