Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

January 8, 2012

biggest smile

This week has been full of low lows and high highs... let's start with the lows...

Josh and Kaleb have been cooped up in this house for almost 2 weeks now, as we try to potty train Josh, and it's starting to wear thin for both boys. The week began with no sleep, serious attitude from both boys and then hit it's peak on Wednesday when a water mane outside our home broke and left us for more than 30 hours with no water. Have you tried potty training with no water? Let me tell you while still sparing you the dirty details... it's not a fun job, especially when an accident occurs. With crying, whining and no sleep to be had reached it's peak on Thursday night I was at my end. Josh woke me so many times this week that I can't think straight still, and it's Sunday! On Friday morning Tim told me to go back to bed and try to get some sleep, Josh too was still sleeping so Tim went out with Kaleb. Josh and I managed somehow to sleep in until a record 10:45 am!! I haven't slept in like that since I was single and certainly Josh hasn't done it in his lifetime. We both woke feeling refreshed, and it lasted. Friday was a fantastic day, Josh and I spent the afternoon on a date, we had his haircut, painted ceramics, then had a coffee/apple juice date before heading home. That night we discovered that his soother had broken, and we realized that it was probably to blame for the many wake ups, and that his sleeplessness started when we began training him. Friday night, after getting a new soother, which he beamed over and being put into a diaper with assurances that it was okay to pee in the diaper at night, he slept through without waking! The joy that proceeds is something only a sleep deprived person can fully understand... it's like I died and woke up in heaven!

We are, as you can tell, moving in the highest of highs now...  On Saturday I took the boys on a play-date with a friend to the McDonald's play place. Kaleb and his friend were playing at the bottom where I could clearly see them, my friend was getting the food and Josh was climbing around at the top of the apparatus but I had lost sight of him, I began to call him but got no response. The more I called the quieter the room became, as if the other parents and kids knew that I needed it to be quiet. Soon, the other kids began joining me in my almost frantic calls for 'JOSHUA' but no response came. Finally, I asked a woman to watch the two other boys while I went up the jungle gym (thankfully not nearly as large or scary as the last time I had to do this... )*see Blog post terror in the tubes for clarity on that*I reached the top and called again, then turned a corner and there was Josh, sitting happily with two little girls, when he saw me he had a huge beaming grin that spread from ear to ear and he pointed to me and told the girls that I was his Mummy. It happened again when we went to leave, I was calling him and when I found him he had made friends with three little boys and they were sitting up in the top of the play place, Josh with a big smile on his face.

Now, for you readers who follow me you will know how long I have worried about him, how long I have dreaded his encounters with other kids at the park, his speech causing a huge barrier for him. He has always shied away from social situations because his communication is so limited. To see him, smiling, with kids his age that he had only just met made my knees weak with joy, and though I suppressed them, there were tears begging to be cried out of sheer exuberance and happiness! My son, for the first time, made friends with his peers, not friends at church, or at school but with kids he didn't know, where there was no comfort zone or safety net set up. On his own, using his language and his skills, he had the confidence to make friends and his face was lit up all day because of it.

I read a book not too long ago (I reviewed it here on this site) called A good and precious gift, in it the Father says to the Mother, 'our highs will be higher and our lows will be lower' when they were first told about their daughter having Downs syndrome. When I read it I could understand him perfectly. With Josh we have terrifying lows, and then incredible highs. His achievements are worked for, and so we celebrate them with sheer joy and wonder. This was one of those moments, and as I sat in the car ride home, marveling at the gift Josh had just been given, my heart was so full of peace and joy and hope that I could do nothing else but thank God for that gift, and say a little prayer of thanksgiving and praise that he loves Josh so much.

There is nothing better, nothing sweeter, nothing more pure and beautiful than seeing your child happy, truly happy. Seeing his face, eyes lit up, grin plastered from ear to ear made all the sleepless nights, all the potty accidents, all the whining and crying vanish in the mist of a distant memory.