I often tell Matt that I wish I were an old woman.
In all seriousness.
The yoga classes I attend are full of un-pretencious, proudly sporting gray hair, clog wearing, incense smelling older women. This, my friends, is where I thrive! Where I’m alive! I’ve never thought of myself as one to connect to older women, and quite honestly, I may not that well. But somewhere between downward dog and headstand, I attempt to inhale the deep, honest, raw wisdom within that small upstairs room on Monroe Ave. Older women have an abundance of experience, advice, and insight that I just don’t have… because I’m not old (yet). I’m inspired and encouraged and I feel deeply beautiful around these women. It’s quite the place to spend my mornings (and some evenings).
Wisdom in raising a child is what I pray for each night before I fall asleep. The road is long and hard and fun as heck. However, knowing where to being is only the beginning. I pray for what’s known in journalism as the 5 W’s, who, what, where, when, (mostly) why, and the occasional (but more often then not, it’s the how) how.
I remember the day Noah was born (all too well. for good reasons!) The nurse came in our little suite after 7 hours of Noah sleeping and asked how many times he’d nursed. Matt and I looked at each other dumb-founded…. “you mean, you aren’t going to tell me when to nurse?”. Going home from the hospital was another story. “You mean, you’re just letting us leave with him?” The learning curve was hard and steep in the days, weeks, months that followed.
Raising Noah for 21 months has been a pure delight. (As you can see from the 21 months of fun blog posts) However, there is a side to Noah’s precious little life that isn’t as openly shared and laid out on the table (or computer screen). He’s had his share of struggles (and we’ve had ours). Around 7 months we knew that he wasn’t babbling like he should be, around 10 months we noticed he wasn’t crawling like he should be, and it was down right scary. We had him evaluated and he was eligible to have physical therapy through a program each state has called Early Intervention. We met Heidi around the time Dash turned 11 months and she did therapy with Noah each week for 1 hour. We loved Heidi, she came to our house, played (did therapy) with Dash, taught Matt and I how to incorporate these things into our “every days”. Since moving to Rochester, we have been able to add 4 different therapies (occupational, speech, physical, and one to teach play skills) into our weekly routine. We have been blessed that there are so many agencies that offer these therapies, and even more blessed that we have 4 amazing women who work so closely with Noah (and us) each week (but even more amazing, is that they are each deeply invested in him)! Matt and I have seen so much improvement and have learned nearly every technical term that exists for developmental delays. (that’s probably due to my absurd amounts of reading and research).
Coming home from the hospital that freezing cold January evening, we couldn’t have anticipated these challenges. (I mean, what parent would, right?). But, I’ll tell you what, this little dude has given our family more warmth than I knew was possible. He motivates us to challenge ourselves with all the hard work he does each day of the week. He has taught us to find joy in the steps of the process, rather than the goal or outcome. (so instead of being proud of him walking… we are proud of him standing flat footed… or attempting to free stand… which is on the way to walking). Most parents have the luxury of not having to deal with such issues, but from the inside, where we are, it’s produced joy. Joy is permanent, happiness is temporary.
Imagine being thrown into all this new terminology, all these new therapies, these new skill sets, and what hit me the hardest was being told Noah was “developmentally delayed”… I experienced physical sickness due to emotions for the first time in my life. It has been totally uncharted territory for both Matt and me. While we realize that there are children and families in FAR, FAR worse places than where we stand, this is our challenge, and it’s not easy. We’re trying to stand on the firm ground that God has laid before us.
Now that we are more comfortable (only slightly) with the “idea” of it all, we felt that we were comfortable going public with these challenges we face as a family. So, OUR delay was caused by the vulnerability we felt, and still feel most days… But we’re getting there. Each day is a new day to learn and trust that God is in control. (because Lord knows, I’m not)
Wisdom in such issues would be a blessing, but someday, when I’m an old proud gray-haired sporting, incense smelling, yogi, old woman (assuming I can still get into scorpion pose), I hope to have gained wisdom so that I can pass it on to a young, deep loving mother.
So, friends, in telling you this, I anticipate NO pity (in any sense of the word). There is no room for such a negative notion in our family. He is able, intelligent, curious (insanely) and motivated… BUT most importantly, full of JOY! I mean, c’mon, have you ever seen another child with such a stunning grin!
Life happens. This is life.
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails” – Jim Rohn