Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Two Decades: A Belated Birthday Post

Time for the very belated birthday post for my oldest 'little girl.' 
Miss CB turned 20, and my world is officially rocked. Two decades... holy wow. 

She had a sleepy start to her day and spent the morning chillin' and eating all the foods that she loves. Then we had two rounds of cupcakes and Happy Birthday singing and visits from some family. I'm not sure CB registered that it was her birthday necessarily, but she does know when she is surrounded by love and well wishes. 

I remember the time shortly after CB was diagnosed and she went into Early Intervention. She was diagnosed at 2 1/2 so she stayed in Early Intervention for 6 months until she turned three. They didn't come to the home at that time, so I would drive her to the White Oak School where she would work for an hour with her Interventionist, Sandy. I loved Sandy.

CB would sit in this little wooden chair with a strap that went across her waist to keep her from shimmying out. There was also a tray in the front which helped keep her contained and allowed Sandy to present things to her. CB would fight against this whole contraption at first... for weeks actually.  As mellow as CB is now, she was a Tasmanian Devil when she was younger. Non-stop movement, running and mayhem. She never sat still unless she was sleeping, and always needed constant, close supervision. Sandy put some headphones on CB just to provide some pressure on her ears and muffle the noises, which she liked. I still can see her, this little girl in a dress with long white-blond hair and thick bangs with these giant 'old school' headphones on and strapped into this chair flapping her hand and humming. She was so stinkin' cute.

So, Sandy was trying to teach CB the concept of handing something to me in order to get a treat. For some reason she was into raisins at the time (hasn't touched them since!). So we had this empty mini Sunmaid raisin box and we would spend all freakin' hour trying to get her to hand me that empty box independently so I could put a raisin in it. The whole thing was supposed to prepare her for working with a PECs system which is when a child gives you a small picture of the item they want.

Anyway, (this is becoming a long pointless story) we did this sh*t for weeks. And when I say weeks, I actually mean months. "Give to Mommy... Give to Mommy..." I'd say in a sing-song voice, over and over again with my hand open and outstretched as she completely ignored me. 

"Give to Mommy!!" It was a lesson in patience for sure. Months upon months we tried to get an almost 3 year old who wouldn't look at me in the eye, or speak, or follow any simple directions to give me a little beat up raisin box. It sounds really comical now, but at the time it was, like, the major goal of my life. 

Then, one day... she handed me the box. Boom, just like that. It all just clicked. Sandy and I were laughing and crying at the same time. You would have thought we just won the lotto or something the way we were carrying on like crazy people. And I was only supposed to put one raisin in there but I stuffed that sucker full because that was the best thing I'd seen in a long time.

That was a moment of pure parental pride.

So, I'm not sure where I 'm going with this story except to say Thank You to my beautiful first born. Thanks, CB, for teaching me that in a world of Facebook bragging and competition and comparing and one-upping and keeping up with the Joneses, that every small victory matters. Every child does amazing things in their own time and at their own pace. Everyone has something that can be celebrated. Thank you for keeping me grounded right out of the gate.

And thank you for working so hard to do all the things that came so easily to other kids. You WORKED for it, girlfriend! And look at you now, all grown up and totally able to hand me PECS cards and all kinds of other stuff I don't really want to have handed to me at 3:00 am or while I'm in the middle of cooking dinner. But, that's ooooo'kay. 

We've accomplished a lot together over the past two decades. We're actually not a bad team. 
I am proud of you for all that you've done and all that you are.  I am proud to be your Mama. I'm proud to call you mine.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder that every small victory matters-sometimes a parent forgets that when busy everyday life gets in the way. What a beautifully written reminder and what a beautiful daughter you have!

Elizabeth said...

May I just stop here and cry a little bit out of love and solidarity with you? I've been reading your blog for so many years, and I honestly love you both. I really do. Happy Birthday, sweet and hilarious C.B. I love your pom-poms, your wildness and especially your mama. Happy birthday day to her!

Alicia D said...

I honestly, truly feel the same way about you, Elizabeth, and Sophie. I know we've never officially "met" as in person to person, but I know your heart and your mind and your life better than I know most people whom I see every day!! I hope one day we can actually meet so I can give you a giant hug :)

Anonymous said...

Sniff. LOVE. Love to you both. Happy Belated Birthday, CB! Always cheering for you with virtual pom-poms!

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