Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The list: fast forward in slow motion

Before Sunny was born and I was still pregnant (and expecting a perfect baby) I browsed the internet for a scrapbook to keep all of my memories of Sunny's first years. I finally found a beautiful one that offered space for the ages 0-5, including prepared pages about what my child likes, dislikes, what he is like, when he got his first tooth, his first shot, stuff like that. It also contains a page where you can note down all the important, predetermined milestones: first laugh, first time rolled over, holds head up, walks, talks...

Photo credits

So, after Sunny was born I started to fill in the blanks on each page. But there was one page that stayed emptier than designated and that was the page with the milestones. He missed every single milestone that was given in there and I became sadder and sadder about that. It was visible from my book that something was wrong. I wanted to write something in there and just could not. And since each milestone was eagerly awaited by me, the waiting for them became more and more stressful. But, on the other hand, there were so many wonderful but small things that he accomplished in-between those big milestones that I ran out of extra lines on the same page where it simply says "miscellaneous". 

I slowly came to realise that I would need to slow down with this page just the way that Sunny slowly developed. This is when I started my own list. I started noting down every event, every mini-milestone that he accomplished on his way to the next big milestone. I realised that those small in-between milestones were something that I needed to appreciate, too, that they were not to be taken for granted.

Today my list consists of 18 pages in Word (with an extra paragraph concerning his speech and language development) and is still growing. Every new paediatrician, doctor, therapist is excited about it since it is so detailed. That is a nice side effect. They can look up anything there.

However, for me the list became ever so important. When I go through it from time to time and I read what he already has achieved I am so proud. When I read when and how he smiled at me for the first time I can still see his baby face in front of me, smiling his toothless grin that made me melt as I had so longingly been waiting for it. When I read about when he first ate ice cream I remember how he relished in the taste of the banana ice cream I chose for him. When I read how he took his first insecure steps I remember his PT telling me afterwards that there was a time when she was not sure if he would ever walk and shivers of gratitude run down my spine. When I read how and when he sat with us at the table in his high chair for the first time I remember how proud he was to be with us and how happy that he finally saw what was going on at the table. And how I felt that we were finally a family, complete, in sitting all together at the table (sounds weird, but that made me so happy back then).

I am so glad that because of my elaborate list I will never forget those tiny moments, those freeze frames of our life that is running in slow motion on the one hand, while on the other hand it is just passing by me in fast forward mode.



4 comments:

  1. Awww! I love that you keep a list! When we first started getting evaluations, I made a list of the words Tucker could say. Every time I get sad about how much he doesn't say, I pull that list out and realize I am so very lucky that he talks (or tries to many times) at all, because there are many children who never do.
    Thanks for sharing! <3
    XOXO

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    1. You are very lucky that Tucker talks! :-) As I said, nothing is to be taken for granted.

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  2. That is a beautiful post, and a wonderful idea. Today is my first time visiting your blog, and I am excited to read more! I have never had a child with developmental disabilities, but I am a music therapist and have spent years doing therapy with children who have a variety of special needs, some of them diagnosed, and some of them undiagnosed. I think your perspective and attitude are incredible.

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    1. Dear Stephanie,
      Thanks for stopping by! I am glad that you like it here! You are a music therapist? That's awesome! Sunny is such a musical kid that although he barely speaks he hums songs or imitates the intonation of things I say all the time. I have often thought about doing music therapy with him! But since we already do a lot of therapies I would not know when to do it. Maybe I should think about that again for next year. Hope to see you again soon!

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