When the milestones don't apply to you, you feel adrift. No moorings to give a sense of where you are and where you are going. It can be a frightening, disconcerting place to be. It doesn't surprise me at all that when the messages you get are so vague and unclear, the trajectory uncertain, and the future presented so blatantly negative, so many people cry out for a "cure" and chase every miracle drug or therapy out there.
But what if we tossed those milestones out? What if we accepted that some brains are going down a fundamentally different path, and their development cannot be tracked on growth charts? What if we were, as parents, able to accept this different, unknown world for what it is, and accept the child for who they are? And what if... through that acceptance... the child was able to become who they are meant to be? The very best version of themselves. And what if our definition of 'success' changed as well? And our definition of what is a good life? Is it possible that doing that could lead us to where we need to be, instead of just where we want to be?
I have been working hard at accepting Jman's development for what it is. I try very hard to push when he is ready for it, and not push when he isn't. I try to be sensitive to what his needs are and what his next step is. It can be agonizing, because sometimes those steps seem insurmountable.
And then it happens. Giant, huge, amazing things tumble out of him like floodgates opening up. He goes from disorganized mess to got-it-going-on boy. He does what I didn't know he could do, and does it with style.
Step-by-step, he teaches me to chill out.
|He walked right in and sat in the dentist's chair.|
|She cleaned his teeth!|
Hell, she TOUCHED his teeth!
|"Don't worry, Mom. I got this"|