You Make Me Smile

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Dexter has always been a feisty one. He was a tiny little chicken shaped baby with almost no hair except the little mohawk like tuff on the top of his head. His labor was miserable. All in my back and long. I remember thinking in my head, “hurry up little boy” but he took his time. It set the tone for his life to date.

He was also a wild baby. Bullheaded. Determined. He would climb things and do things that just weren’t normal of a baby his age. I will never forget the day that he managed to open our front down, navigate the front steps and go to the car… that is parked on the busy street. In a few short moments I’d lost him, because he wanted to go. Thank God for kind people who’d grabbed him as I flung my entire self out the door towards the street.

Dexter didn’t talk. At all for almost two years. Looking at all the words Dixon has at only 18 months, I feel so bad I didn’t realize how little my Dexter said. He was two before he could even say his name and even that was tough for him. He said almost nothing his entire first year in preschool and his chosen form of communication was always a fit, closely followed by head pounding. We had a rough year.

Months of speech therapy, lots of constant talking and we’ve finally met some milestones. Yesterday I listened to him speak in 5-7 words sentences. Of course he’s got a little bit of help but he’s coming along. He’s got so many new words and such a bright and nice attitude. He’s like a new child. The child I knew he was.. the child hidden by the frustration of not being able to tell people what he needed. What he wanted and what needed to be done.

We were out and about last week. He played happily with kids and tried to make simple conversations. He’s big. Well, taller, than the average three year old we’re finding and I think the expectation of him may be that of a four year old. One child who found it curious he didn’t “talk”, said he was dumb. “He doesn’t talk so good. He’s dumb.”

My boy? Dumb? Not at all. And while my heart broke into a million tiny pieces, it was quickly built back up when he looked at the child as if nothing happened and kept playing. Because he’s happy. And I don’t know if he just didn’t realize what being dumb was or if he didn’t care but either way, his bright and beautiful smile made me smile.

I think he knows in his heart how hard he’s working and what a good, sweet and fun boy he is. He’s not dumb. Not at all. And unfortunately kids can be cruel and sadly, it seems to be starting younger and younger. Hopefully, we’re providing him with enough love and kindness so that those words go in one ear and out the other… and that he just keeps smiling… and knowing that he makes me smile too.

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

The joy of my toys

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Ever so often I open the wonderous caverns that are my photo libraries. There was a time in my life that I took my camera everywhere and I took photos of everything. Days that differ from now when my camera rarely sees the light of day. Facebook memories and timehop remind me of all I used to photograph and all I used to say. I often said to much. I probably still do. There was always a constant commentary of what we were doing or what I was feeling. As I have gotten older, I’ve tried to squash it because I know or I feel I’ve used people up. It’s not nice to use people up.

The commentary bothers me. Almost embarrases me but the photos? So much joy.

I love watching the children grow and grow again. In photographs, in stills. In photos that it doesn’t matter if the color balance is perfect or the composition tight. I find joy in the photos when my camera was just a toy.

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My Drew. That sweater. He wore in Kindergarten where as Dexter wore it for his school photos just last year. The photo of Drew reminds me of how big Dexter is as well as how small Drew is and was. I loved stumbling on that photo. Watching Davis change from a tiny boy up at bat, to a child with a real swing and real dream to play ball in school. Photos reminded me of that.

They have reminded me of when Devlynn was too little to know the stress of high school or when there was no talk about buying her a car or her leaving home. I get to relive the moments when we welcomed her to the world all the way up to the first time she wore a pair of really nice shoes.

My camera, my toys brought me those joys.

I have a lot of toys I guess. I enjoy creating. Be it behind the lens or with paper and pen. I find a lot of joy in sewing. Making something for someone to be warm under or in. Something that will wrap them with my love. I take a lot of time and care making each Halloween costume, each Easter basket. I love knowing how special my child feels in the costume that doesn’t look like anyone else’s. I get joy from the comments. I like hearing that I am a good maker.

Vanity, joy in vanity. Terrible confession, *wink*.

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We’re all granted gifts I think. I sometimes wonder what mine really is. I love trying to do lots of things but I never really know what it is I am really good and what it is I just love learning to try to do.

I wonder if I just stuck with one thing would I get really good at it or really bored. Would the sound of a sewing machine still make me as happy as it does now. How it makes me think of my Grandma Esther and how her craft closet smelled. What it felt like to twirl in the dresses she made for me with the machine I look at all the time.

Joys in toys. Joys in gifts. I love to create, make and I hope it brings others joy too.

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Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Monday, Funday

Baby DexterToday’s joy? Miss J. She’s Dexter’s speech therapist. I admit, she and I had a rocky start. I didn’t probably give her the chance she deserved as we were walking away from a therapist who I thought was awful. We had a rocky start with her too and so I can admit, I was not the most welcoming mother.

Dexter showed signs of delay early on. I sort of ignored it as we’d been down a similar road with Davis but he eventually caught up and hasn’t stopped talking. But Dexter was different and he threw a lot of fits and there were lots of tears from him and from me. He started speech therapy late. But both his speech and behavior therapist were lovely and we saw instant progress early on. When he aged out (quickly), I sadly said goodbye to people I loved and was welcomed into cancellations, schedule changes and comments about how tough Dexter was and what a bullhead child he was. It was ugly. And I couldn’t wait to be done. I think when she said she hit his goals, I just blindly agreed because I was hoping we’d be done with her. Another mistake on my part.

When things changed and we lost her as a therapist I was hesitant with the new girl, J because it was more time changes and more uprooting of the schedule but ended up being okay. I still am not married to Monday meetings because we’re out of school on Monday a lot but besides those “misses”, J has been consistent and good at communication.  Even gives me a little grace when I can’t talk in the hall… because, anxiety.

Dexter’s showed so much improvement. The fits have been fewer and he’s started to really do better but he’s still, very behind. When I hear the other little people in his class, I know he needs a little more help and that’s fine but I always had sort of an aching when I thought back to the original therapist decreasing his time and me agreeing to it.

Today we met with her and his teacher and the school director and he’s going to get more help. And it’s because they all fought for him. It was nice to know we had some awesome people on our team. It’s nice to know that I’m not just making up these delays in my head and that he really does need a little extra help… and that he will be getting it. A joy filled ending.. or beginning.

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He gives me joy. He’s wild and witty and funny and smart and kind and good. He’s just a wild man. I love seeing things through his eyes. Tonight we made lasagna together. He and I. He knows what to do and he loves to help. Now if we could just get him to figure out that the oven is hot, we’d be good to go! I love having him with me.

He’s catching on. And everyone says how kind and sweet he is at school. They see the same gears I see and it makes me happy that someone is taking the time to get to know and love him like we do, like I do. Sometimes it is hard to have one of “those kids”. He was the one people pointed at when we at baseball two years ago. We’ve had many a days where we had to leave cart fulls of groceries and go.

But with help from J and his amazing teachers and preschool he’s on the best track possible. It’s my joy knowing he is so loved.

(I miss his teeth, lol the no teeth is super cute but look at that grin)

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Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.