Let me tell you about little losses.
When we were in the throws of the early times... first assessments, first therapies, first fights, and first diagnoses... many many sad thoughts floated through my mind. It wasn't just the "my kid as a disability" crap, although that was most definitely there. It was the little losses... or potential losses... that seemed to swell up to an unbelievable pitch in my mind.
He couldn't talk: Yeah, that sucked.
He wasn't engaged: Yeah, not fun.
Meltdowns and Mayhem: Ugh!
What would the future hold? Yeah, that question monopolized my brain.
But it was the little losses that seemed to be the most sharp. At Christmas, he didn't seem to understand... or maybe care?... about Santa. Little loss. He showed no interest in books or (more important to me) having me read to him. Little loss. He hated singing, especially anyone singing to him at all. No "Happy Birthday" songs for him. No "Wheels on the Bus" on the car rides home. Little loss. The sweet little moments that I anticipated would come my way as a parent seemed elusive and unattainable, and for me that was a loss. A little loss.. but like a paper cut... it still stung.
I tried to just set them aside. Those moments were not for us, after all. We are on that different path, and it is still a good path. It was up to me to see the beauty in this, and spending too much time dwelling on the little losses was futile and counterproductive to building a good relationship with the Amazing J-man. So I man-ed up and moved on, and tried not to cry when a little loss snuck up on me and bit me on the ass. It happens, but it does not do to dwell.
But you know what? I think that many of those little losses are proving to be temporary.
Last week, J-man said to me, clear as day, "Make cookies?"
I was stunned, to say the least. Not that he said "make cookies"... but that he wanted to make cookies with me. Seriously? Be still my mother-loving-heart! I can count on one hand the number of times I have tried to get him engaged in cookie-making, and can honestly say that only once has he even tolerated my "forced" attempt at having one of those moments. You know, sometimes you just ache for what you know, for the things from your own childhood...
Anyway, I replied back, "You want to make cookies??"
Yes, yes, cookies.
Well, I jumped on this like house-afire! I actually sent Big Daddy out to the store for chocolate chips as we started making the cookies, because I did not want to lose this moment. He pulled a chair up to the counter. He helped measure the dry ingredients. And the wet ones. He cracked eggs with me, hand-over-hand. He even helped with the mixer, one hand on the handle and one hand covering his ears (because it was too loud, of course). He licked the cookie-dough-and-bacteria-laden beaters (and I didn't care one bit!!!). He helped me spoon out cookies onto the cookie sheet. And he waited for them to bake, looking in the oven a couple of times to see if they were done. And then ate one with gusto.
And two days later, during snack at his program, he told his OT that HE made the cookie he was eating.
Yeah, I know... right?
Now in the car, he has favorite music from the soundtrack to The Lorax. He lets me sing along. And he tries to sing too. He asks for this one by name.
And this one... he sings this one in a very J-man way.
And last week he wanted to plant seeds. What?? So we went to the garden store, bought dirt and seeds, and planted. And he 'helped" daddy seed the lawn as well, grabbing handfuls of the stuff and whipping it around the yard. (You know, my parents owned a greenhouse for 30 years. I have a brown thumb. I think maybe the green thumb skipped a generation??).
I used to yearn. I yearn no more.
It is his path, his way, and I shall no long dwell on the little losses. Because, to be honest, I am not sure they are really lost at all.