Here’s the part you may already know: I am blessed to be “mommy” to this ridiculously adorable child – Truman – who adds immeasurable joy to my days. Those eyes, that smile, his personality all make my heart leap when he toddles into the room. He is happiness personified. And on top of it all, he’s a first class cuddler whose snuggles could melt glaciers.
Right now, he is teaching me so much about the power of the human spirit. After two months of in-home testing last fall, Tru was diagnosed as having “significant developmental delays, across the board” (except in social-emotional skills – cue that megawatt smile!). I remember walking out of the special education offices feeling shocked by the extent of his needs, but also so grateful to have access to compassionate experts and top-notch intervention.
Tru’s therapists come to our house twice a week and he has been working so hard with them. Sometimes it breaks my heart to see how serious and studious he gets during their visits. He is exhausted after each session. But whenever he has a small victory – like getting all three colored shapes into the shape sorter or touching a texture he’s scared of – he is so proud and excited, I could weep.
And lately, he is making such incredible inroads with language. His big brother picked up words easily, as most toddlers do – we said them, we read them, he understood them, he repeated them. Mission accomplished. Not so for Tru. Just now – at almost 3 – he seems to be picking up on the fact that language is like magic: you ask for something and you get it. And when you put two words together, it works even better!
Every time Tru puts words together that I can understand – like “hi, mama” or “go home,” I just want to twirl him in the air (and sometimes I do!). This work could get so frustrating, but he is reminding me what it means to be resilient and joyful, challenged and forgiving. We can hold and honor the hard stuff and the happy stuff all at once.
So, my little boy has so-called “special needs.” He doesn’t learn or act exactly the way other kids his age might….and he is still absolutely perfect, precious and brilliant.