This coming Sunday will mark the two-year "anniversary" of when I took Millie for what would become her first of many evaluations.
I thought I was overreacting. Ray thought I was overreacting.
I expected to go in, feeling sheepish and silly, and then leave feeling even more sheepish and silly.
Instead I left scared. Sad. Ashamed.
(I believed it was my fault she was so behind, that we weren't working with her as we should, that we hadn't been doing enough one-on-one time, as we tried -- apparently unsuccessfully -- to balance now having two kids.)
May 25, 2012, was the beginning of ... everything.
I mean, we often refer to our lives in different stages: childhood, teenage years, high school, college, etc. Ray and I often say "before we were married," our Fridley (Minn.) years, and our Bemidji years.
Now we have a whole new slew of eras: the before-kids years, the only-Lola years, and then Millie... We have the "before we knew" years, that "really dark sad time" (late 2012 to early 2013), and the current time, which has yet to have a name, but we often just think of it as our "new normal,' when things are good, stable, happy, but we're still juggling a hell of a lot more than we'd ever imagined.
So two years. To say it feels like two decades is not a stretch.
A year ago, we were so incredibly happy. She had just learned to walk. Just shy of her second birthday. We were celebrating. And euphoric.
Today, we're still celebrating. We're signing, all of us. We're singing and playing and praying and praising and dancing.
But it's still hard.
Sometimes it just punches you in the gut. The last few weeks have been that way. Life, in general, keeps throwing up little speed bumps, (like, did I mention I broke the tub and flooded the basement last week?) which is to be expected.
But, in addition to that, we're also going through the arduous process of more evaluations for Millie as we look to find out what services she will receive from the school district as she transitions from the birth to 3 years old program to 3 to 5 years old.
And while it's all going fine, everyone is super helpful and friendly and fun, it's also ... a gut-punch in some ways. To fill out questionnaires on what your your kids can and cannot do, what they understand and don't understanding, and, my personal favorite, the number of words, sentences and phrases your child uses on an average day, it can all be overwhelming at times.
But we do understand the need for such evals, to determine where she will best fit as she moves forward. It just provides a few ... pains as you check 16 "no" responses in a row.
That said, there also have been many, many moments of joy and fun.
One favorite involved a piece of white paper. She was asked on the first to copy a circle, drawing her own version of the circle down below. Millie can do this. And she did. Quite well.
They flipped the paper over to reveal on the next side a plus sign, and they asked her to copy this. Millie knows how to do vertical lines, and on rare occasional she can make a horizontal line, but she hasn't quite grasped how to make them intersect. And she hates to fail or to show that she can't do that.
So this little girl, not quite 3 years old, she picked that paper up, looked through the paper, and copied the circle from the other side that she could see through the flimsy sheet of paper.
And then she grinned proudly.
- Bethany :)