I want to try and describe a feeling to you, let me try to describe it by using different scenarios.
Imagine that feeling you would get if you tried really hard at something, something that meant a lot to you, something that you really loved, lets say drawing or painting. One day the art teacher holds up your painting or drawing to the rest of the class and says "Class, take a look at this wonderful picture. Notice the lines and the colours and shapes. This is excellent, you should all strive to do work like this". Imagine that proud, burny, full, scary, elated, explosive feeling you have in your heart when you think to yourself "maybe I *am* really good at this"
Imagine the feeling when you have secretly liked a boy or a girl from afar for ages. They don't know you exist, but you think about them all the time. You like them so much that it almost hurts, but you wouldn't ever dream of hoping they would ever notice you. And then one day as you are waiting in line, the boy or girl turns around and looks at you, really looks at you, and smiles. Directly at you. Only for you. Imagine that wonderful, scary, full, elated, proud, excited feeling you have in your heart at that moment. The exciting/scary thought that maybe, just maybe, there is hope.
That feeling there - that feeling of being so excited/hopeful/joyful/elated that it is almost scary, that is the feeling I get when I see Max do things that might seem completely normal / insignificant to outsiders.
The other day Max told me a story that took about 10 minutes to tell. It was a typical child fantasy story that, truth be told, was pretty boring by the 6th or 7th minute, but my heart was racing behind my calm smile and nodding head because OMG! MY CHILD JUST SPOKE FOR 10 MINUTES!!! He told a clear, intelligible story for 10 minutes that even someone who didn't know him would be able to follow and understand perfectly. Even as recently as a year ago, I was worried he would ever be able to speak properly. I wanted to cry, I was so proud of him. The feeling in my heart when he does things like that is so huge, it feels like my heart is going to explode out of my body.
On Sunday, after almost 3 years of swimming lessons (and lots of special therapy to deal with his issues), and a point blank refusal to even contemplate the possibility that he might one day be able to swim he just suddenly 'got it' on Sunday. All by himself. O.M.G. You don't understand how excited/proud/elated I was.
Look at him go!
There are so many examples I could share. Glimpses of 'normal' that are almost too scary to believe. Normal, ordinary 6 year things that make me so so so hopeful that he is very quickly catching up to his peers to the point where he can comfortably find his groove.
He has worked so hard for this. All his 'village' have - I am so thankful to his teachers, the OT, the speech therapist, my family and friends and everyone else who 'gets' him. And especially to his brother and sister who have had to exercise a lot of patience and understanding.
Max is an awesome, quirky, funny, loving, handsome, charming little boy and it makes me so happy to see him grow and develop like this. All we want is for our children to be happy, and Max certainly is a happy chap. And happy children = happy mom.
PS I know people say "he will be fine" and of course he will be. He is and will be fine because I will do whatever it takes to make sure he is "fine", whatever "fine" is for him. But I want him to be more than "fine", I want him to be happy, I want him to be proud of himself, I want him to like himself and I want others to like him. I want him to have friends, I want him to feel part of a group, even if that group is just two people. Because every little boy needs to have friends who like him and want to be with him.
Life is hard, we know that. It is hard for everyone, no one is exempt from the knocks, bruises and challenges of life. But at the end of the day, as a parent what you want is for your child to hopefully navigate life with as few bumps, bruises and challenges as possible. Life is hard enough with having the deck stacked against you, no matter how good or bad that deck is.