Ok, actually there are a lot of things that are hard. But I think that’s true of parenting in general. Investing well in small people (however you go about it) is not for the faint of heart.
But there is something that’s been hard for me with Helen. Because her developmental age is different from her chronological age, the skills she learns often seem out of order. Matthew went through predictable stages. The initial sleep deprivation, becoming mobile, messy eating as he learned to feed himself, saying no, potty training and on he grew. We tackled the challenge in front of us, applauded his successes and moved on.
Not so much with Helen. Sometimes, I feel like we’re trying to learn everything at once and accomplishing very little. She enters a new stage and we’re still desperately trying to learn the last set of expected skills. So it’ s learning to take a bite…at 2 years old. Learning to use a spoon at 3. Learning to crawl when everyone else has already started to run. All this while we’re still trying to get sleep down, learn boundaries and on and on it goes. Then, of course, there’s the dreaded regression. Where just enough stress and circumstance create the perfect storm for her to suddenly forget something we’d already learned to do. Again.
There are days when carrying around my heavy heart is just too much.
But here’s what I’m learning: the harder the fight, the greater the win. The day she took a bite out of a hamburger, that time she used a spoon all by herself. Every time she puts on her shoes or hugs me all on her own. These are enormous miracles. Ordinary events that rise right into amazing simply because making them happen was so incredibly difficult.
And there it is again, the ugly things making our lives beautiful.