I wish I could just sit back and enjoy it again. I watch Emma play and wonder when she doesn't touch a certain toy if it is because she doesn't like it or because of the texture. I watch her put a piece of banana in her mouth and take it back out immediately after making a face and wonder if it is sensory related or she just doesn't like the taste. I watch her get frustrated when she wants something that she could climb and get off the couch - but she doesn't even try to climb; she merely gets frustrated and begins to cry. I remember Ayden doing the same thing and I wonder if her spacial relations are also affected. I love seeing the smile on her face as I count to three and she throws herself backwards to hang upside-down in my arms, but I can't escape the fact that she does it when she is upset and overstimulated -- that it appears she is craving vestibular input.
It isn't just my kids anymore. I'm the one that friends ask about their own kids. "Should we be worried?" I don't think people really want to hear my answer -- they want me to tell them their child is fine. That the delays Ayden has aren't anything they need to worry about. I know because my answer is always the same, as is their response to it. If you are wondering whether to worry, you should call Early Intervention for an evaluation. I know other special needs parents will not be surprised by what comes next. A dismissal of my recommendation. A look of pity. A courteous smile. I never push, it isn't my place after all. If there is one thing I've learned it is that a parent has to be ready to face the possibility of a problem before they will take action.
I do not enjoy being that friend. I don't want to be the person who looks at children playing and sees possible delays. I don't want any of it. I want the sweet innocence of a first time mom back. I want to spin with my kids until we are so dizzy we fall to the ground giggling. I want to run barefoot in the grass. I want to play in the rain until all of use are covered in mud. I want to go to the movies, to a baseball game, to the circus. I want to go to a birthday party and not worry about my child screaming when the other kids sing "Happy Birthday". I want to do all that without preparing, without having to wonder how long we will make it before we will inevitably have to leave ahead of schedule, without having to ignore rude stares, strange looks.
Because I have him.
I really couldn't have imagined or asked for more, because Holland is pretty amazing* and I wouldn't leave for anything.
*The title of this post and last sentence are in reference to one of my favorite pieces of writing titled "Welcome to Holland" by Emily Kingsley. You can read it by clicking HERE.