I'm excited for our friends at the Institutes to see Joaquin. He really has accomplished so much in the past 6 months. I still can't believe he will be 10 months old in two days. He is such a different baby than he was 6 months ago but then again isn't the first year of a baby's life the most amazing transformation. I wonder how much of it is just Joaquin and how much of it is the work we've done together.
As I prepare for our journey to the Institutes, I can't help but think of all the things he hasn't accomplished and I know I need to be patient. Things are always going to be a little bit harder and take a little bit longer for Joaquin. It's difficult sometimes to see other children the same age as Joaquin, or even much younger, that are developing and accomplishing things that are taking him so much longer to learn. Even simple things like spoon feeding which is a big effort for us and comes so easily and naturally for others. Then there is the crawling....Joaquin is still only arm crawling when he wants to but hasn't figured out that it's a mode of transportation. He hasn't really taken off with the skill and I was secretly hoping he would be by now. I look at my niece Jolie who is spoon feeding easily and crawling on hands and knees all over the place and she is 6 weeks younger than him. I'm truly in awe of her ability to do these things and now I appreciate these accomplishments so much more than I ever did before. I just marvel at how easy it comes to her and how hard it is for Joaquin. He works so hard. You should see him pump his legs and arms in the air on his belly as if somehow he will fly across the room. It's adorable but heartbreaking at the same time.
I need to be patient, however, sometimes I can't help but feel like I'm responsible for his delays or that somehow I'm a failure as a mother if he isn't hitting these milestones. I completely understand that every child meets their own milestones on their own timeline but having a child with special needs puts a slight twist on that. It's like a race against time. You don't want your child to fall too far behind.
Despite the delays, I am so proud of Joaquin and we celebrate together every day. We celebrate the little things, the everyday things, small accomplishments and the big ones too. We celebrate how much more interactive and alert he is. We celebrate that he can hear all sorts of sounds....even the scary ones. We celebrate how he flirts from the grocery cart seat at shoppers passing by. We celebrate every little sound he makes, every movement, every single little thing. So even though I still need a lesson in patience, I know I will get there. I have the best teacher in the whole world.
Thank you Joaquin.
Reading his bits of intelligence
Coming down the crawling track
He sees his favorite bits
He is going to get them
Look! it is a surprise face...
I love my bits