Thursday, January 07, 2010

Small Steps and Giant Leaps

Despite his heretofore awesome school year, Fiver is having trouble getting back into a regular routine. Nothing major, and of course he's only been back for a few days, but still . . . a mom just gets a feeling about some things, you know?

I expected this to happen, since it usually does whenever he is out of any familiar environment for more than two or three days. It happens when we go on vacation, it happens at the beginning and end of every school year. It just happens.

As I sat with him in the waiting room at therapy on Tuesday, he quietly told me that there was a note from his teacher in his folder. I swallowed the panicky lump in my throat, the one that always appears when a note comes home, and we talked about what happened.

Fiver, never one to falsify facts, let me know that his behavior was not his best. He admitted that he's having trouble paying attention and getting his classwork done. He couldn't tell me why, but I've got a pretty good idea anyway.

I sent him off with his therapist and proceeded to spend the next forty five minutes stewing about the best way to get Fiver back on track.

I hadn't come up with any good answers by the time his session was done, so I put my churning thoughts on the back burner and listened to his therapist tell me about what they did and what some of our changing goals should be.

And then she said, "See you next week!"

All three of us stopped and looked at each other for a few heartbeats. And then we just started smiling.

We had decided, before Christmas, to reduce Fiver's therapy to one session per week since he was progressing so well. We chose after the first of the year, since isn't that when you're supposed to make all the big changes in your life?

But still, when the day came, it caught us all off-guard.

I guess that's what happens when you've been in a routine of two sessions per week for years. Years. More than half of Fiver's life. Sally and Bun have grown up in the waiting room of pediatric rehab.

Fiver high-fived his therapist, and I suddenly felt my stress about Fiver's re-adjustment to school melt away in the face of incontrovertible proof that he is improving at an incredible rate.

Rob called while we were on the way home, and I reminded him that this was Fiver's first week of No More Thursday Therapy. He was quiet for a moment and then he said, "Did you ever think we'd see this day?"

I laughed because I knew what he meant.

The short answer is yes -- I did believe we'd see the day when Fiver was therapy-free, and I still do -- but the long answer is a more accurate description of how we feel.

It's not completely unlike being pregnant, in a way. When you are pregnant, you know that you will eventually, God-willing, end up with a new family member at the end of nine months. But while you are actually pregnant, it's hard to imagine the baby itself. Will it be a boy or a girl? Will it look like your other children? Will it be calm or cranky? Those things are still up in the air while you're pregnant, and it can be a long haul to find those things out.

From the very beginning, I believed and I prayed that Fiver would talk and walk and play and function at his age level one day. I knew that we could get him through with prayer, therapy, and the sheer force of our love.

And here he is -- a really delightful seven year old boy who very happily goes to occupational therapy once a week. You'd never know the back story if you were just meeting him today.

I've always felt, whether this is right or wrong, and more than any of my other children, that Fiver doesn't really belong to me. He is God's and I just get the privilege of hanging around with him.

And all I can say is thank you.


  1. Oh, Aimee, these posts of yours just leave me in tears. I can't even tell you how nice it is to read about how face Fiver's individuality with such compassion and love. I hope we are doing a similar job with Little P.

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It really does touch my heart.

  2. So glad to hear Fiver is doing so well! I know exactly what you mean about this child "not being mine" I have similar thoughts esp about my oldest, who you know we've had struggles with.
    You have a beautiful attitude about it all.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. What a beautiful post! Congrats to Fiver for working hard and making it this far!

    I love the reminder that our children are really God's and we are just given the privilege of taking care of them. Thanks for that!

  4. Oh, he's so great.

    Just remember that Neurotypical boys have notes sent home too....

  5. Excellent! I'm glad he's doing well--even with a small setback. Of course all the disruption of Christmas break will mess with him.

  6. Tears in my happy for Fiver!

  7. Anonymous10:19 AM

    Thank you for reminding me that there will come a day when we too are therapy free- happy 2010!
    Mirabella MOM

  8. Good for him!!!! Way to go Fiver! Sometimes in our moments of defeat we realize that we have really triumphed :)


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