Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Yesterday was our Infant Class and it wasn’t all that enjoyable. Elijah cried nearly the whole time, which was difficult for me. We made it through, but neither of us had any fun. I’ve never really heard any of the other babies freak out like Elijah, which is also hard for me. Sure, they fuss or cry a little, but nothing like Elijah does. I like to think that Elijah is a relatively happy guy (and he is) but every single week he cries during class. It’s frustrating because it makes me wonder and causes me to question things…Does he have a shorter attention span than the other babies? Is it harder for him to calm down because he doesn’t understand what is going on? Or is he just fussy, tired, hungry, grumpy, or not feeling well? This is what parenthood for me (for us) is like. We never know what is “just Elijah” and what is a symptom of his injury. It’s frustrating to say the least.

How I long to tell Elijah, “No! Don’t put that in your mouth!” Or “Sweetie, don’t touch that!” Or “Elijah, get over here. That’s dangerous!” I’ve thought in some ways, parenting Elijah is easier than it would be to parent other children his age. He doesn’t try to touch things very often, doesn’t crawl, or get into mischief. I’d rather be able to tell Elijah “no” than to have it easy any day (which, by the way, I wouldn’t call our parenthood anything but easy!).

The good news is that he’s getting there. I have seen him putting things in his mouth now once in awhile. Sometimes I don’t know if the item in his hand simply got in his way of him sucking on his hand, but this is how he’ll learn how to do it regardless. Often learning grows out of accidents. I know Elijah will keep it up.

I would have taken development for granted if Elijah had had a normal birth. When I was pregnant, I didn’t know I’d spend my days thinking, “Okay, I have to get Elijah to sit like this to strengthen his arms” or “He hasn’t had nearly enough tummy time” or “Is this a sign of cerebral palsy?” I know I need to relax and enjoy motherhood more, but most don’t understand the agony I go through every day, trying to give my son all the best opportunities in life and never feeling like I’m doing enough. I guess what I am trying to say is… please don’t take development for granted…yours or your children’s. If you are breathing, eating, holding your head up, or sitting you are blessed. For some it doesn’t come naturally and we have so much to be thankful for. Some children never make it as far as Elijah has already. I know that Elijah will develop; it’s just not going to be as easy for him as it is for others. This is hard for me to admit, but I know that God is watching over us, healing Elijah, and cheering him on more than I am (which doesn’t seem possible).

Speaking of development, Early Intervention is coming this afternoon. I always look forward to seeing our OT and this week a Vision Consultant is coming to see Elijah too. I’m curious as to what she’ll have to say. I’ll keep you posted. Please continue to pray for Elijah’s head to grow and for his brain to develop and compensate for his injury. We do appreciate all of the support.

It’s a beautiful day here. I just took a deep breath and smiled, feeling the air making its way to my lungs. Life is good…I hope I never forget it. :)


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