Week of Wonders
First of all, I have to give credit where it’s due: I’m stealing the name of this post from my friend Patricia’s wonderful blog on BabyCenter.com (which is currently on hiatus, but the archived posts are timeless and well worth reading). I could think of no more apt phrase when I look back on this amazing week. D is unrecognizable from the kid we knew two years ago or even a year ago. Actually, that’s not true and not fair. This child was always there, this sweet, amazing, brave child, but he was too often hidden by severe social anxiety — anxiety that he is now throwing off like a winter coat in March.
Here, a point-by-point breakdown:
Sunday: We went to our neighborhood carnival, called the Spring Fling, where D rode a range of rides and jumped on moon bounces with abandon. Less than a year ago, moon bounces were scary for D, and we now realize that his sensory processing and need for balance had a lot to do with that. Through exposure and natural growth and occupational therapy, those feelings are a thing of the past.
Tuesday: His performance in the school program. As I already wrote, he did a fantastic job singing, talking, doing sign language, and just enjoying himself, in front of an auditorium full of people.
Wednesday: D had a play date with some kids that he traditionally feels somewhat intimidated by when they’re in a group, because they’re bigger and somewhat more aggressive. But he hung in with them just fine, playing tag and hide and seek, and even climbing trees with them. Awesome.
At tae kwon do, D was the ONLY child the instructor asked to get up in front of the group at the end — 17 kids in total — to perform a 10-part combination. D not only did it; he did it well enough to earn a little stripe on his belt, which is an interim marker between different-color belts. He was so proud of himself and I was so proud of him too.
Friday: Then, last night, we went to a very large and very fun neighborhood party, and as my dear friend B (the hostess) noted, D had the time of his life, playing soccer and croquet, running around, eating, sweating. You name it. We had driven over to the party, but when we left I could see that D was still so hyped up and could use some transitioning. So I sent Eric and sister K home in the car, and D and I walked home in the gorgeous twilight, holding hands. We pretended that vampires were around every corner and spooked ourselves so thoroughly that we ran the last couple blocks. And we laughed and laughed. It’s been a big week, an emotional week, and a wonderful week. Life is good, and laughing is even better.