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Monday, February 28, 2011

pace & patience

Before we begin, let's find her. Oh, there she is.



Now then.

My daughter is 13 months old and I can still leave her on the middle of my big bed without fear of her wandering off of it. She is 13 months old and cannot sit up from prone position without assistance. She is "toddler"- age, but still hasn't figured out how to scoot her little knees up to crawl.

So when I got the call from her Infant/Toddler Program case worker last week to make an addendum-signing appointment (Oh, the paperwork!) in order to move Mirabel's every-other-week physical therapy appointments to a weekly basis, I wasn't too surprised. Grateful, actually. But then I saw the copy of Mirabel's Physical Therapy Evaluation, and it said, right there in black and white, that "Mirabel is functioning at the level of a 4-6 month old given the range of her skills both in fine and gross motor at this time."

Dang.

She's functioning at the level of a baby less than half her age.

And it's just... it's kind of... hitting me, only know, that I feel a little frustrated. A little lost. A little guilty (Is it because of me that she's not progressing at a better pace? Do I need to be doing much more?). I'm starting to realize, and maybe to accept, that despite the perfections that exists in this plump and gorgeous and glowing-smiler adorable ray of delight Mirabel, there is a row ahead. And hoeing it is going to take a long time.

It's going to take forever.

Now that Mirabel is 13 months old, it's not as easy for me to envision and excuse her as a little baby. Now people double-take when I tell them she's 13 months old. Now her little comrades are starting to dash around and tear up the house and use small words and drink out of sippy cups that they wield themselves.

Now that Mirabel is 13 months old, I'm wishing I could put her down and have her be able to explore a bit. To open the Tupperware cupboard. To wander after me through the house. I wish I could put up the baby gate at the top of the stairs again. I wish I could surround her with toys and know she could reach for one and actively stay engaged with it. That her tiny fingers could discover their ability to scoop up the puffed rice and bring it to her lips.

Now that Mirabel is 13 months old it's getting harder not to compare her - to her friends, to other children, to her sister at this age. A universe of difference. Luciya was dancing.

Wait a second, let me find her again. Oh, there she is.


And I am so grateful, and I am so blessed, that this wee serene nugget loves nothing more than to be held. To be squished, and petted, and nuzzled with kisses right up under her supple little neck. That my 13 month old little girl is the most blissed-out round-bellied creature when she is resting on my lap, head on my chest, blowing baby gibberish at me between her contented sighs. Letting me stroke her thin, fuzzy, fly-away hair. Pulling back to shoot me a toothless smile.

And I am so grateful, and so blessed, too, that Mirabel will walk one day. That she'll run. That she won't need to be confined to a wheel chair. That she will speak, and she will drink from a cup, and she'll dance. And she'll learn and she'll make friends and she'll paint a rainbow and she'll fly.

She is the strong one here. She doesn't complain. She has made peace with that plain that exists beyond frustrations and beyond doubt. All she asks is that I ensure some opportunities to let her grow.

And so I will. We will. She will.



"Never think that God's delays are God's denials. Hold on; hold fast; hold out. Patience is genius." - Comte de Buffon

11 comments:

Teresa said...

Emily, what beautifully honest words. I'm touched. Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry for the loss you're feeling of what sweet Mirabel isn't able to do now. It's only natural to compare her big sis or her friends, but it's always going to be different because the comparison isn't equal. I'll look forward to reading your blog when little M is starting to get around and into stuff...watch out!! xoxoxoxo

Elaine said...

You and your daughter(s) are very powerful. You love each other, and that is sufficient.

Charlotte said...

My Prayers for you and John and the girls. You have been blessed with two very beautiful and loving little girls and one of them is very amazingly beautiful and charming. I wish you the very best with your girls and with Mirabel. She is a miracle herself and she will start when she is ready. Just hang in there.

Ophelia and Peter said...

XOXOXOXO

Sara said...

She's absolutely perfect.

MsBorges said...

like.

Twiga Foundation said...

Emily,
I have never cried reading a post or a blog and rarely cry reading a book. But this post on "pace and patience" had me in tears. You are a wonderful mother and I am so grateful to know you. Mirabel will fly.

Michelle said...

What a beautifully written post! Sometimes it is hard ... hard to NOT compare when all we find ourselves doing IS comparing; even when we know we *shouldn't*. I think we all have those moments of 'should I be doing more? Am I failing my child? What else can I do?' I know I have those feelings a lot with Kayla, who is 7. I struggle so much to give her the one-on-one attention and time because Lucas is always right there in the midst of it all. Mirabel will do wonderful great things and surprise you with them all. Just wait and see!

Allison in AK said...

She's blooming and blossoming her own way ~ just like all of us! And wow, she is pretty!

Allison in AK said...

Oh, and about those charts ~ ridiculous. None of my 6 kids could crawl at 6 months and only 1 walked at 13 months. The other 5 walked between 16 and 18 months. No DS, either. So there, charts, Mirabel is fine!

Allison in AK said...

I linked to this post in my blog ; is that OK? I only began in January and am not sure of the "rules"...
~Allison