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
Today was difficult, but tomorrow is a new day. Larkin will continue to give you new joys each and every day in HER way. I truly believe that day will come when you will hear that sweet little girl say “hi.” God works in mysterious ways…have faith! LOVE YOU!!!!
((((Hugs)))) Amy! I love you… one day it will be Larkin saying those works. I truly believe that. Keep on keeping on my friend!
I understand.You know all too well that I so understand.I wish I was there to catch you when you were falling.I may not be physically but I am still here.Magical things await Larkin.Her time.His plan.Loving you from afar …
Oh honey, I’m so sorry you had a tough day. Sending my love. hugs.
Larkin has spoken to you in so many ways … and to so many others. It may be the way that Peanut speaks, but that does not diminish her power. Bless you my dear friend, your tears are not shed alone.
Squeeze Miss L for me and know I’m sending you great big hugs as well. —Jen
Oh, Amy. We just met yesterday and this is the first time I’ve visited your blog in ages but I see we have a lot in common. We had a similar day yesterday too. It helps to know we’re not alone. AMBER
I totally understand how you feel. Our respite girl was bringing her year old son with her to watch Kayla. And in some ways he was so much more advanced than Kayla. He could wave hello and goodbye. He could pick up a toy phone, put it to his ear and babble into it.
I feel so lost sometimes, with this kid who is so unlike even her peers with Down syndrome. It seems like so few people understand.
Amy, I always love reading your blog and have so many things I want to say as I’m reading, but then when I get to the end of it all I can say is, WOW. Wow because I can feel the emotions in the words as you write them. Wow because I so appreciate you sharing these emotions so honestly. Wow because I have met you. Wow because I love your sense of humor. Wow because what timing your friend (more likely God) had with the text message. Big hugs to you and L. (I really love the saying at the end).
Had the same feelings recently. Miss B. has a cousin that is two months younger than her and lives in town. We’re not together all the time, but when we are…it’s hard not to compare and to notice the differences.
I recently found Zoey and Heather at Little Wonders and noticed the link to Larkin’s place…
Stay strong. You’re not alone…
Oh Ames I’ve been exactly where you are with that. I can remember begging Marcus’s speech therapist to please just teach us sign so I could build a communicating relationship with him. He reached age 3 and still wasn’t talking and then Aleaya came along and changed our whole world. She started babbling and Marcus would babble back, then the words started to come and he would learn as she did. I cried when I realized they were communicating in babble talk and understanding each other perfectly. It hurt and it hurt so bad cause I wanted to understand their babble but eventually those babbles turned into sentences and when he was almost four and her maybe 1 and a half he started to speak. It is still a struggle for us to this day because he talks but at times is so unclear and he gets frustrated. All I can do is hug him and tell him I am trying but then I hide in my room and cry cause I feel that I fail him at times when he wants so badly for me to know exactly what he wants to say. He trys to tell jokes and and I laugh for him but cry cause I wanted to understand it the first time he said it but I know in my heart he understands. I am there with you but it will get better. You hit me hard on this one Ames because speech is still our biggest struggle in jr. high years and I hate the looks we get when people don’t understand what Marcus so badly wants to share in his verbalizations. Love you ames and hugs to you all!
awww Amy! No words..just hugs!
It’s very easy to love Peanut, and her mom, too.
And also don’t forget that you are human, most blessedly so.
We should get together sometime. I need to meet that angel of yours.
Amy, this post was amazing. So simple and so real. I have felt this exact feeling. I linked to it in my special needs course. I hope it’s okay.
Thanks for sharing.
This is Sarah’s mom Joyce. I just found you through another blog we follow. This is a very touching post and I can remember feeling just like you. Since then Sarah has shown us so, so much more than we ever expected and I’m sure your sweetheart Larkin will too. Somehow the small accomplishments waive away those feelings today.
Amy, you are such an inspiration to me.. all of us. You have so many gifts (not the least being your writing ability)and you’ve helped so many people with your determination. Don’t ever forget how many friends you have in this world. Give Larkin a big hug from me.
Hugs to you, my friend. I, too, “fell” yesterday when Em’s teacher sent a note saying it was her turn for Show and Tell, and to send something with her next week.
I cried there, still sitting in the car, as I thought to myself, “But who will do the telling? SHE can’t.” That probably sounds really dumb, but it was–just as you said–the reminder I didn’t want, didn’t need, of what she can’t do (yet!!!) BUT SHE WILL.
And I believe with all my heart LARKIN WILL, TOO. In her time. In their time.
Hug that sweet girl for me, and know, as always, you are loved!!!