In the words of my favorite comedian Ron White – “Ever forget? It’s easy to do; I just did” I am a positive girl. Upbeat and try to find my smile every day, and the days it does not come easy, I fake it.
The past few months have gone by so fast, and it is hard to believe January is almost over. I have many projects on my plate, so I stay swamped, which I like and thrive on. Today though, I realized too late that I forgot. I slipped and fell. Hard.
I have a close girlfriend that just had a baby, and I adore her 2-year-old little girl Peanut. Peanut is amazing, fun, smart, and makes me laugh with delight. She is a little one that I love to hug, kiss, and squeeze on, and that kind of kid is hard to come by unless they are your very own. I would keep her in a New York second, the fact that her mother knows well.
Today Peanut was at school, and because we had a lot of snow the past few days, and it is so cold, I offered today to go pick her up from school for her mom, so she didn’t have to take the new baby out. Larkin was asleep, and Chase was here at home; school is just down the street, and so is Peanut’s house. I drove my merry self to school, walked in behind another mom, found Peanut’s room, and gathered her things. Peanut was so excited to see me, and she ran over and jumped into my arms! We giggled, and I hugged her hard, and off we went.
Once outside, I picked Peanut up so she wouldn’t fall in the snow, and we made our way to my car. Another mom was putting her child in her car, which was right next to mine, so we waited patiently, and as the mom passed, she looked at Peanut and said, in that sweet voice, all mothers have, “HI.” In that same sweet voice, I said to Peanut, “can you say hi?” and I turned my head back to watching mom and guess what happened…..
Peanut said in that sweet voice 2-year-olds have, “Hi.” I was stunned and snapped my head back to Peanut. It was at that moment I fell. I forgot that typical children could talk. I forgot that when you prompt for a response that a typical child will do it. I am used to people saying hi to Larkin, I prompt the response, KNOWING it is not forthcoming. Those parents reading this that have children who are not verbal understand my falling. I drove away with Peanut, trying to fight my hot tears, the crashing sense of forgetting, and still smiling because I was with one of my most favorite little people.
We arrived, and I was still so baffled that I explained to Peanut’s mom how I struggled. She totally understood, and as we were talking, my cell phone gave the alarm of an incoming text, which read: “I don’t know why but I have this feeling you need a big hug, is everything ok?” From a friend who stands in my shoes. A friend I met early on this journey lost on the way, found again, and I am not willing to lose again. Her shoes are different in many ways, but I called her as I left Peanut’s house. The hot tears flowed. I told her what I couldn’t tell anyone else. How I fell. How it was so unexpected that the impact was suffocating me.
One simple word – and I realized that I had forgotten.
Most children talk. Mine does not. I have never heard Larkin’s sweet language and am not sure I ever will. Most days, I am ok with it, and when I am not, I fake that smile and wait until I find my stride. Peanut and Larkin are close in age. I don’t compare them because I truly love them both so much that I wish they were siblings. I know that Peanut will be a role model and friend to Larkin.
However, in that parking lot, on that ice, waiting in the cold, I snapped back to reality. And I cried. Once I got home, Larkin was still asleep; I grabbed the mail and was preparing Larkin’s dinner. In between tasks, I glanced at the mail, and there was a letter from our local Montessori school. This is where Chase went to school from three until he started at St. Matthew. I had put Larkin on the waiting list when I found out we were expecting.
Three years ago. Three diagnoses ago.
I had called Ms. Velda when Larkin was diagnosed with Down syndrome, and in tears, I asked her what I should do about the waiting list. To this day, I LOVE Ms. Velda for her response. She never once said that she was sorry. She said, “Congratulations, Amy,” and she said the most amazing thing ever in the next breath. “Larkin will tell us what she will do. She will guide us. If she is ready for Montessori, then here is where she will be.”
I cried then. I cry now. I sobbed when I realized that the enrollment papers were in my hand and my girl is not going to attend Montessori like her brother. It has been a tough day. I have fallen and am trying very hard to find my footing.
Remembering – wow – that is one impact I could do without. Forgetting is an interesting gift. It allows for healing, grace, forgiveness, and life to move forward.
Always remember to forget
The troubles that passed away
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day