Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pride and Perspective

Yesterday I took the boys to this awesome indoor playground in the Bay Area called La Petite Playhouse with some friends. Calvin had fallen asleep on the way there and when he stumbled in, still sleep-groggy, he stopped in his tracks and stared wide-eyed at the ocean-themed play wonderland before him. He stayed that way for at least 15 minutes while I kind of dragged him around to pay our admission, take off our shoes, wash our hands, and get Henry some milk (Henry, meanwhile, was kindly letting me know he wanted milk with an escalating whine). This is actually typical for Calvin, he needs some time to adjust to new places, especially really really stimulating and exciting new places!

After Calvin recovered from the shock, he took off into the toddler play area. Soon enough he left the toddler corral and ventured out into the bigger parts of the structure. He was so excited that everywhere he went he ran as fast as he could on those tiny legs and feet! He climbed up and down and over things. He slid down the slides in the toddler area and he even slid down the big slides!



Some of the parents were surprised that I asked them to let him slide by himself, 
but actually it's much safer for kids to slide alone than on adults laps. 

James and I were getting misty-eyed watching those videos that evening. Of course James, poor working dad, had missed out on the fun. But the reason those videos mean so much to us is that it wasn't that long ago that we were worrying about him ever learning to crawl, to walk, let alone run around and climb and slide like such a big boy! 

This is from one year ago, early March 2013, 
and he had only just figured out how to sit up from scooting/crawling.

Also from March 2013 just a couple of weeks after that previous video. 
He had moved on from "commando crawling" to crawling on hands and knees!

Oh and I remember those days of Gymboree (so, so pregnant with Henry btw), of coaxing and prodding him to inch his way along the baby obstacle courses while kids younger and bigger than him blew past us. Not that I wasn't proud of him then! I was! He made amazing progress at Gymboree and I am still super super proud of how well he did. But back then I could not imagine the awesome kid he is now! 

Calvin with Granny and Mama at Gymboree on his 1st birthday
He is so much like a typically developing toddler. (Actually we think he's more awesome than typically developing todders!) Except for the talking... But I know, I know it will come. I know it in my heart. I fully believe in this little dude and I will support him every inch of the way. Even when that means stepping back and letting him be who he is, where he is, how he is - without any pressure. 



If I'm being totally honest, my feelings of pride about Calvin are weighed down by worries about Henry. I feel like Calvin made it! He did it! *Huge sigh of relief.* Calvin can run and jump and play with the big kids. But when I think of Henry I am still so afraid. He is more delayed than Calvin was and it is to be expected that he will need a much much longer runway. But what am I afraid of? Henry will do those things too, in his own way, in his own time. Still, I think I'm afraid of how hard it will be on him, and selfishly, how hard it will be on me. It's not about comparing him to his peers. I actually think I'm much less stressed about comparing Henry to his peers than I was about Calvin for a long time. It's about comparing him to his potential. What he might be able to do one day seems so so so so far away. And then the big bad deep dark fear: what if he never gets there? How will he be a happy kid if he can't run and jump and play with his brother? 

It's too much. I have to let those scary questions go. Over and over again, each time they resurface. It's so hard. But the thing that eases all those fears more than anything else is just being with Henry. He is happy now. He is well. He is sweet. Over and over again his smiles and kicks and gurgles tell me to stop trying to see ahead and to just look at him now.

So look at them both! They are amazing. 

2 comments:

  1. they are amazing! so are you and james #barleyhopswater #dadsatworktoday! love the blog post!

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  2. Watching the first of video of Calvin in the gym blew me away. He moves so well and engages in the slides fearlessly. Henry will be happy because you and James will celebrate his uniqueness and his being Henry. You will allow him to be Henry because you are awesome parents. The journey will/may have its roadblocks and when necessary you will find the detours to make positive things happen. We love you. See you soon.

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