It's a game that sounds fun in theory, but I've decided it's more liken to a deep dark rabbit hole. Special needs parents know this cyclical game better than anyone, particularly families like ours. Amos is three and his extra special needs have unfolded slowly, no diagnosis at birth, no script of what to expect, just a darling baby turned toddler now preschooler whose milestones have largely remained out of reach. Catching up has eluded Amos and so, our life as a special needs family has bloomed too.
I use that term not lightly as it is exactly what has been, despite tears, fervent wishing, hope, doctors, seeking, and weariness, our family has blossomed. We are a cohesive group, protective of our Amos. All of us are kinder, less quick to judge and can more easily see ourselves in another's shoes. They are our shoes now and that gift has been as much like manna that I shall ever know.
Playing catch up is a game we have decided to abandon. It leaves me feeling disappointed when my heart tells me to celebrate each notch of mosquito wing progress. We cheer and cry happy tears as our Amos finds his way. It is his own way though, not a predictable track on a neatly folded blue and green map, and that is enough. He is more than enough and this weekend as his dad and I spoke of his latest accomplishment, I wondered aloud, "He's not going to catch up, is he?" My husband, who adores him as much as I do, said, "No, he's not, but he's making progress."
Progress, not catching up, is going to have to be the wind beneath my sails. Life with Amos is a beautiful one and so, embracing this as our new normal shouldn't be that tough. We will stick to games like playing chase and hide & seek. Life's not a race and the finish line is figurative I'm learning, a bit slowly myself. Amos' path is an unchartered one and I don't want to miss the certain unraveling of joy.