Kate is taking a child development elective this semester.
Part of the class is a weekend with a computerized baby. Who cries when he needs to be fed, changed, rocked, burped… Basically all the same times a real baby needs attention.
I get this text from Kate as she is coming home from cheer practice.
“Can you help me bring stuff in, he’s already cried”
“You are literally the most stressful thing in my life…. I so do not want one of these for a long long time”
The momma in me is going Yeehaw!!!
After a false start where we had to tackle technical difficulties, Danny and I took advantage of the seventy degree day and went hunting for the sheep.
We got lucky.
They weren’t even that far down the canyon today.
I keep Hugh off the blog.
Mostly because he is a private man.
But this picture.
This picture reminds me of Danny’s first very uncomfortable year.
And how Hugh would come home after working 10-15 hour days….grab baby d and circle our small kitchen trying to make him feel better and also allowing me a much needed sanity moment.
I married a good man.
And he’s a better father.
Look at the smiles those two ( of the three) men of my life…they have the same smile.
Sometimes getting Danny out the door is like hearding cats.
We spend a bunch of time making sure everything is just right as we try to leave.
And truthfully, the less he wants to go someplace, the longer it takes us to hit the car.
But today, when I said “come on buddy…it’s a school day…”
He got frustrated with me because I wasn’t moving fast enough for him.
And he especially did not care for the five minute conversation Jillian and I were having during the pass off in the high school parking lot.
He doesn’t make it for long, but omgosh, he is having a blast while he is there.
Danny and I got out today.
We ran a few errands and then he consented to picnic while we did a few laps around Harriman Lake.
Among the few of us circling the lake, there was an older gentleman going the opposite direction.
“It’s really great to see you both out here” he says to me on the first pass.
It stuck with me.
Danny and I try to adventure while he feels well. Because, honestly, we both see enough of our house.
We go out.
We do things.
And he doesn’t go out with just me.
Dad takes him….Jillian takes him…
But I’ve noticed something through the years.
The world treats us differently when we are with Danny.
Sometimes it requires a thick skin…..because the stares do happen.
But most of the time, it’s as if we are more approachable. And we constantly strike up conversations with complete strangers.
“Mom, wouldn’t it be great if there were an operation Danny could have that he would wake up and start talking. You know. Like they do for deaf kids…wouldn’t that be awesome?”
That’s Kate’s idea yesterday afternoon when I picked her up from school yesterday.
Danny is nonverbal.
He has pretty significant apraxia. Even after years and years of intensive speech therapy we were unable to retrain his brain.
In his brain, he is talking to us…but it becomes a bunch of nonsense sounding words when it hits his mouth.
For years we tried agumentive communication.
He hates it. He actually hated it so much we ran into some pretty ugly behaviors last spring and early summer.
For a nonverbal young man, he very much gets his points across through sign and word approximations.
But there is so much still locked away in his brain.
Maybe someday, someone with more knowledge than I could ever hope to have….will come up with a surgical fix for Danny’s apraxia.
But until then, instead of hearing that he loves us, we will know he loves us by all the hugs and kisses we get.
We started our day at 1:45am.
But, Mr D rallied and made it here…
And I rallied and made it here…
South Valley Park.
We need a hike that has a fairly gentle slope. That is wide enough for Dan’s stroller. He’s getting so big now. I am purposeful anymore with the trails and loops we do.
On the plus side, my upper body gets one heck of a work out as well.
We took Danny up the canyon to get some fresh air and sunshine.
And we got lucky. The big horned sheep were down.
Danny had a bunch to say about the “sheep”
So totally worth the trip in.