I haven't been writing. Whenever I have "churning" emotionally, I tend to procrastinate until I know where it stems from and what it's all about. Elijah is officially 2 and a half. He doesn't walk. He doesn't talk. If someone would have told me I'd be in this place at 2 and a half while I was still pregnant, I probably would have cried myself to sleep. It's true that Elijah doesn't walk independently yet- but he WILL. He is so motivated, and his face lights up when he grabs the push toy to walk around with. He gets around. The hardship for me comes more in the form of not being able to take him everywhere. A carnival or pumpkin patch with only dirt ground is a challenge. So, we work around it- with Charles and I passing the baton when necessary so that both of our boys get a full range of experiences. Elijah also doesn't talk. He really doesn't have a single word, unless you count "Yeah.", which he uses frequently and with surprising accuracy. But, his eyes are amazingly expressive, he uses about a dozen signs and knows many more, and between telling sounds and facial expressions, there isn't too much left for interpretation.
Example: Interpret this.
Right?! Not hard to see the adoration and love there.
I had Elijah's first assessment at his new Jump Start program. It went well, for the most part. What is clear is that Elijah has very quickly amassed a fan club. The therapists all gathered to talk about where he is at developmentally, where his delays are and what goals we have for the near future. However, they all turned giddy as they talked about how "Elijah makes them feel so special. He makes them feel like they are his favorite- divvying out hugs and blowing kisses...until they pass him off to another therapist and they see how he uses the same charm on the next person too. All is forgiven once they get him back, though, because he wins them over again with just a smile." What a gift! It was such a treat to sit through that and to get to hear the kind of effect my son is having on the people around him. He definitely has delays- anywhere from 41%-90% (Only speech production is a 90% delay), with most falling between 41-59%. It's a lot, and it does give me pause every once in awhile, when I think about how much he really isn't doing yet. However, I am a firm believer that people skills are one of the biggest components of a "successful life". If that is true, Elijah is off to a great start!
The last few weeks have been a balance of school for the boys, work for me, doctor appointments (lots of preventative- with a full hearing screen for Elijah, plus the run-of-the-mill appointments for cold and flus), and the traditional fall must-dos: Pumpkins patches, School Halloween carnivals, and Halloween parties.
There's potentially big news for our little family: We might be getting a dog!! We lost our sweet "Buddy" (whose picture still resides in my blog sidebar) just 3 weeks before Elijah was born.. With a newborn and the pain of grief still fresh, I couldn't even think about getting another dog. Originally, we thought we wanted a puppy. But, with a toddler who isn't walking yet, a Puppy would be an insane amount of work. I got a message from a friend who is a foster family for a local Dog Rescue Organization, about a young 2 year old dog that she thought might be a good fit for our family. I looked the dog up on the Rescue's website and immediately got a good vibe. We set up a time to have the dog, named George, out to our house for a meet and greet. George came by yesterday and made himself right at home. Christian immediately fell into the role of boy-needing-companion and gave him some water to drink from his toy watering can. My heart did a little flip flop. Once Elijah woke from his nap, he was immediately interested. In fact, I've never seen him so interested or engaged with a dog before. My parents have dogs, and frankly neither of my kids ever seem very excited by them...but with this dog, it was truly heart warming. George was so gentle. Definitely the kind of dog that isn't going to get worked up if there are kids getting a little rough with him (not that I'm going to let that happen.) Now that we have met George, we can't stop thinking about him. Our fingers are crossed that the rescue owner feels like we'd be a good fit too!!! (It's no joke- she came out and shook our back fence to see if a dog launched himself at it, would it fall over? While it's not possible for us to replace our entire back fence at this time, I certainly hope she can see that we are a family that could love and care for a dog, and that he would become a welcome addition to our family...but, until I get a response to my "We want him!" email, we are holding our breath...) Here he is, affectionately nicknamed, Gorgeous George:
I have anxieties- about giving my kids what they need, properly taking care of myself, over the fact that I have a workload list that is a mile long, that finances are still such a challenge, and more. It would be so easy to fall apart (and every once in awhile there are those days), but my boys never let me. Either from Elijah and his generous hugs and new skill of blowing lip-smacking kisses, or Christian who tells me how much he loves me (to the moon and back- to infinity) all day long. I'll tell ya, I waited longer than most for Christian to say, "I love you" unprompted. Now, there isn't an hour that passes without him saying it. So, I look at them, at Charles and at what we do have and I remind myself of an old saying, "Just for today". Just for today, I got some work done, spent quality time with my kids and did something for me (writing). And that's enough. Just for today. Tomorrow, I will tackle new things, and whatever I do or don't do, that will be enough too. But, I have to remind myself of this. Everyday.
Just for today I will appreciate my beautiful boys and their very different skill set. I don't need to solve every one of my problems today. Today, as it turns out, was perfectly lovely...