Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another Down, then a Big Up! (quite literally)

Well, the holidays have come and gone, and they definitely felt quite a bit different this year. Frankly I'm relieved they're over...not that they were miserable by any means, just a bit tough.

I thought by this, Joey's third Christmas, he would maybe start to "get it" in regards to the whole concept, and maybe even open up a gift or two unassisted. Not this year, but I still say "not yet" over "it will never happen". Maybe that makes me a bit optimistic, but that's a label I'm okay with since it's not one I'm very familiar with and it seems like a nice one to enjoy.

It's hard getting excited about a holiday when, prior to having a child, one of the great things to look forward to was seeing the holidays through the eyes of a kid, which would definitely bring new meaning to Christmas. December 25th was just another day to Joey, perhaps a bit confusing with all the tearing of paper, empty boxes to explore, a giant tree in the living room and lots of people around eating lots of food. So now we have to adjust our expectations and see the holidays in a completely different way. We'll get used to it, I'm sure of that, but this first one after the realization that we won't have "typical" Christmases in the future was just a bit rough.

Now, on to our incredible "up"... The three of us were in the basement, watching a show called "Till Debt do us Part" (great show, by the way) and they mentioned the divorce statistic being 50%. That then led Jason and I to discuss how it is so much higher for parents of special needs children (75% to 85%, although some research disputes this claim), and how unfortunate it would be if that were to ever happen to us, since there is no other person on the planet besides the two of us that TRULY understand what raising Joey is all about. We feel pretty lucky that in our case I think Joey has made us stronger as a couple, and we make a pretty good team.

Anyway, as we're having this discussion about the stresses of having a child who is delayed and how it had been a while since we had seen any major progress towards a new milestone I was holding the TV remote, and Joey was playing on the floor. Joey LOVES the TV remote, saw it waving around in my hand I suppose, scooted over on the floor and kneeled up to try and get it out of my hand. This is nothing new, he does it all the time. The part that had us both in tears of joy was when he then brought one leg up underneath himself, then the other, and then he was STANDING at the couch, completely on his own! I did not help him in any way, it was totally spontaneous and independent, almost like he heard our conversation and decided to show us yet again at the perfect moment that he is always working hard to do new things. My stomach flip flopped all over the place, we were astonished and silent, not knowing what to say or do. After about 10 seconds he leaned back and fell on his bum back on the floor, and then proceeded to scoot away and play with another toy, as though nothing unusual had happened. I burst into tears, and Jason was laughing hysterically and kept saying "good boy! GOOD BOY!".

This is how it all starts with Joey. We can go to all the PT sessions in the world, and encourage him to practice to reach a specific goal all we want, but the first time he does anything it's all on his own terms. It was like that with rolling over, sitting up and kneeling, and now we are beginning with standing. Don't get me wrong, without the PT he would not have learned how to do it, but we knew the first time he did this it would be a total surprise.

That's our boy, just full of amazing surprises :)

- P, J & J

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