So much about this life can be hard. The details. The planning. Thinking about not just today, but tomorrow and next year and twenty years after that. The constant search for ways to make life easier, better for our boys. It can be hard.
Sometimes you have to take a deep breath and just stop. Stop looking down that long, scary road and just enjoy where you are. And we're actually in a pretty good place right now. The boys are happy. They laugh and smile more often than not. They are making progress at school and in therapy. They are getting out into the world so much more than ever before.
So today I'm going to focus on the little things that mean so much more than anything else ...
Sawyer stops, actually stops, to look up in the sky at airplanes and helicopters. This from the little boy who used to not "hear" anything, who wouldn't look up from his patterns or his shadows for anything. He stops. He looks up. And he smiles.
Xander walks up to strangers and says "Hi!" He sometimes even adds "How are you?" or says something about an object they have in their hands. No, it's not traditional conversation. Yes, it's been tediously learned and instilled in him, because it will never be natural to him to want to talk to others. But he does it, and he does it with a smile on his face which never fails to make other people smile, even if they're not quite sure what's going on.
Both boys reach out and hold on for hugs. Two little boys who never liked other people to touch them, willingly reach out and hold on for a hug. Two little boys, who used to like to play and be on their own, draw out bed time longer and longer each and every night. One more song. One more tickle. One more pressure hug. They are reaching out, engaging, wanting contact.
Sawyer is writing. The grip may be weak and not exactly like his classmates, but he's holding it a pencil and writing. Not just letters now, but words. He's copying his twin brother, and he's writing favorite phrases from movies and video games. "Viewers like you. Thank you. Walk Disney Pictures Presents. Pixar Animation Studios Film." They are clear and legible. Sawyer is willingly picking up pencils and markers to write, to communicate something that is interesting to him.
Xander is making decisions about what he wants to do. When his community living support (CLS) worker is coming over, he knows just what he wants to do. He makes their itinerary every single time. He likes to eat at Red Robin. He loves to go to the indoor swimming pool ("Buckets, diving board, slide!" He likes to go to Chuck E. Cheese and play video games. He's actively making decisions about what he wants to do, and he's communicating those decisions clearly.
We take walks around the block without death grips on hands or wrists. Xander is usually ahead, riding his Razor scooter. Sawyer is usually just behind, walking slowly and taking it all in. He also has to stop and jump up and down for every single car that passes. He really likes that. There was a time when I didn't think moments like that would ever happen.
Xander plays basketball in the back yard. Though he still uses and underhand shot, he makes it more often than not. It doesn't matter how high the goal is or how far away he's standing. It usually goes in. Even big brother Connor is impressed.
Little moments, that aren't really so little when you think about how very, very far both boys have come. Yes, our journey is harder than some. It may take us longer to get to certain stages than others, but we get there. And I think we appreciate some of those little moments just a little more, because we know just how hard they've worked and how far they've really come.