Friday, September 4, 2009

Same Child, Different Day: So much more than words

I've changed up the sub-title of this blog a little bit. Initially, this blog was only going to be about the booklet: maybe I could give some good, helpful info, and possibly earn a little gas money along the way. But so much has been happening with this online forum, that I have to change at least a portion of the title so it better reflects the mission and purpose of the posts.

The main title however will never change, if for no other reason than --- frankly --- it's too darn clever to mess with. After all, doesn't the title reflect what we go through on a daily basis? Each and every day, Jimmy, Nolan, Chris, Max, Tony, Alex, Raymond, Hunter, Keera and all the others too numerous to mention are exactly the same child they have ever been; that they will ever be.

But one day --- whether it was bright and sunny, there was the prediction of a flood, it was a Tuesday, you had just come from a birthday party or had just gotten out of bed --- somehow you happened into the clinic that diagnosed yours. The doctor(s) may have been old, adorable, a friendly short lady, a doc on his way to retirement or a team of over-priced professionals. No matter --- whether you were shocked or prepared, whomever they were slapped you square on the cheek with a palm-full of gut-wrenching news, and left you with a "what are you gonna do about it" welt on your face.

All of a sudden everything was different. The sun wasn't as bright as before, the tears fell like rain, you couldn't recall what day of the week it was, the happy memories of the party had all but vanished and you just wanted to climb back into bed. The day was different.

Though it may have been happening gradually for a few months, the days now began to show signs of change more quickly. There was no more predictability; something had happened and now you couldn't use the same toys to stop the heart-squeezing cries. As different as each day became, so it too became ritual: you now had to take the same route to daycare every day or put every piece of clothing on your child in the same, mind-numbing order time and again. This, too, was different.

But there was something that hadn't changed; hasn't changed. That kid was still the same one whose temperature you took when they were sick, the same one who you couldn't wait to smell after a bath, the exact same one who captured your heart as the nurse laid their swaddled body across your chest. This is the exact same child that they ever were, and that they are ever destined to be.

That last statement is not said in the vein of desperation. On the contrary; may it ease your frustration. While we should never give up on pushing our children's potential, at the same time, we should not expect overnight miracles. What we should expect are frequent regressions, a slow pace and insane, overly-emphatic reactions to the smallest leaps and tiniest bounds.

One day 4-year-old Nolan will wow us with his computer finesse or deliberate acts of affection. Then two days later at an outdoor party, we won't be able to socialize with friends because we have to guard against his constant ricocheting toward the street.

Who understands what I mean? Come on, show of hands? See, that's what I thought --- those with your hands up, live it; which is the only way to appreciate it.

So anyhow, that's why I can't change the main title of the blog.



Corrie Howe said...

Thanks, Jon. Beautifully said.

Jon G said...

Thanks, Corrie.

Deanna Schrayer said...

I agree with Corrie, Jon. This is not only beautifully said, but dead-on accurate. It's necessary to remind ourselves time and time again that our child that darts toward the street, (oh, so familiar), is the same one who looked us in the eye just yesterday and maybe even said, "I love you." The blog title is perfect, and yes, clever; I'm glad you're not changing it. Thanks for a lovely post.

Jon G said...

Thanks Deanna (for continuing to fuel my vanity ;-) )

Seriously, thank you so much for your support --- I'm happy to have come to know all of you and look forward to sharing more of my Jon-isms.

Our kids are so much more than melt-downs and hand-flapping. I want the world to know that.

I'll start recruiting my Army today!


Anonymous said...

Hi Jon. Just stopped by to check our your site (I found it on Corrie's site). I agree great post beautifully said.

Jon G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon G said...

Thanks Shawnda!