Four years ago, I wrote in one of my entries that if Lochlan would use one word - even a swear word - I would be overcome with joy. I remember the day Lochlan not only used a swear word, but used it in the appropriate context. I was not mortified. :-) It was a miracle for a kid who did not speak until he was almost 7 years old.
So, now, my 10 year old beloved boy is starting Kindergarten curriculum. He is watching education videos and his teacher assists him in the activities that go along with the curriculum. He is learning phonics, shapes, colors (most of which he already knows), math, pre-reading, etc. And he is retaining it. Again, my heart is rejoicing.
I know Kindergarten seems rudimentary to parents who have kids who have developed in the standard, expected way. It has to be almost impossible to comprehend the mountains we have climbed to get to this place, the hurdles Lochlan has had to jump over, the challenges he has had to overcome. Sometimes, I don't know how to process the emotions that come with each seemingly tiny victory; because those tiny victories are monumental to us and to him. In one reality - the reality of what is "normal", or "expected", or "projected" for the development of a young person - we are so far behind and tragically missing the mark. But in our reality, Lochlan is nothing short of a miracle and every baby step forward in progress is another marathon completed and won.
I consider the days, weeks and years of agony he has suffered from intestinal abnormalities and ailments. I consider the months of fixations which end only in time to make way for a new incoming fixation. I consider the endless hours of screaming first for days, then weeks, months and for almost 3 years. He barely slept until he was 6 years old and then went for an 11 month sleep fast again this past year. Yet, through each of these seasons and challenges that he has endured, he has continued to make progress and we have been perpetually surprised by joy and wonder. The temptation to assume my perspective of someone is either accurate or complete has been completely obliterated through the process of parenting Lochlan. He is so much more - in every way. The hardships can be overwhelming, but the joy absolutely astonishes me.
We are, none of us, built for the mountains we are asked to climb in this life. We are also not asked to climb them alone. And in the process of the impossible we are all changed, forever.