As Anaia grew and began to sit up, crawl, talk, and finally walk, there were people saying things to me that echoed my own thoughts. Shouldn’t she be doing XY or Z by now? Being a first time Mom I had read all the baby books.
Every. One. Known. To. Man.
So I had a timeline in my head in which Anaia had to follow in order for her to be deemed “normal.” Even though she was on the later side, she was developing within “normal” limits. Nonetheless, I’d get an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach about her progress. It was those doubtful voices at work again, the ones that plagued me all my childhood. Anaia was doing fine. She potty trained herself and was out of diapers, even at night, by 3.5 years old. From my understanding that’s quite normal…
After all…. I was single handedly keeping Barnes and Noble in business. I was in the know.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.~Habakkuh 2:3
By the way, yes indeed, I said potty trained herself. We’d been working on using the potty and she was doing pretty well, only an accident here and there. One day as I was sick in bed, Miss Anaia, in usual form, toddles over to my bedside holding a newly-ripped-off-from-her-butt diaper and proclaims, “I do not want to wear diapers anymore. ”
Well, alrightly then. Point taken! From that point on, she never did.
I can’t look back on that moment with sheer joy, however. The attitudes and judgment of others overshadowed the most joyous and independent moment of her life. I wasn’t met with excitement by some I told, rather with, “well she should have been potty-trained long ago.” Such a self-serving need for control over others, crushes a spirit. Passive-aggressive judgement like that rips away someone’s independence and self-discovery. I wish I would have relaxed and enjoyed my daughter’s milestones. Her first word was a compound word, for goodness sake! Kitty cat! Such a smart kid! Pretty impressive, but through it all I had to fight back the negative, controlling chatter of those warning me of impending doom if she didn’t progress at their beck and call. Anaia was, and still is, perfect in my eyes. It doesn’t matter what other think about their opinions. I am her mother. I am the voice she hears at the end of the day celebrating her triumphs with her or correcting her her failures with a loving hand. It doesn’t matter what others think when your child hits his or her milestones.
It’s all in God’s time.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~Matthew 6:34
I was two when I first walked, and now I have two college degrees and my own family. Don’t be afraid of the ‘what ifs’ in life; Be grateful for today, for tomorrow will come soon enough. Trust in the Lord that He will care for you and give you what you need. Notice I didn’t say give you what you want.
Be thankful for what you have.
Being comfortable with what I have was one of, if not the hardest, thing for me to do. I was raised to be always of what could happen. I wasn’t raised to be comfortable in my own skin. Recall my third grade experience, when my excitement about being accepted by new friends was clouded by an opinion, not my own, that they only only pitied me? That shaped me. That changed me and I’d always question the end results, instead of celebrating the “you go, girl!” moments God gave me. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what happens in your life. Life is to be lead God first, all else, everyone second. God has it. God knows. You don’t have to be in control. You aren’t in control.
I still have a really hard time reminding myself of this. When Anaia was two I noticed something was a little off. If she was watching TV, or doing something with her back turned to me, she’d not respond if I was talking to her. She’d often be in constant motion. Nothing huge, but it set off my Mommy spidey senses. I called early intervention. This program helps families with younger than school aged children. They came and evaluated Anaia to see what was going on and if there was anything of concern, they’d provide therapeutic services.
The evaluator was very kind and sweet. She said, “it’s hard to tell because she is so young, but I believe Anaia has ‘Audio Processing Disorder’ and sensory seeking issues.”
Audio Processing Disorder is when it takes a child longer than usual to hear what others say, process it, and act on what they heard. It can look like the child is defiant or a badly behaved. Sensory seeking issues manifest by a child always looking for sensory input; Always jumping, running, play rough or even hyper aware of environmental noises. It looks something like ADD, though it’s not.
Anaia has been in services since she was two. Speech therapy to help getting trough the ‘traffic-jam’ in her mind that makes it difficult to get her thoughts out of her head past her lips, and also help with processing information from other people in ways it can make sense to her.
Anaia also got occupation therapy (OT) for her sensory issues. When she was old enough to go to school, the school system provided the services for her. The school suggested special education. Although I had reservations, it turned out to be the best thing for her. Anaia has done really well in spite of a perfect storm of an issue. If you put her two issues together, it’s really hard for her to keep up with the pace in a mainstream classroom.
I’ve learned to make eye contact when I’m talking to her. It helps her focus. I also give her a moment to do what I ask her to do. Today it’s not nearly as noticeable as when she was younger. Anaia still struggles with sensory seeking behavior and she get swept away in her imagination at school.
To be honest so would I if I had to deal with 3rd grade common core math…
In spite of it all, she does really well, math being the exception. She has a great, and caring teacher this year but that wasn’t always the case in years previous. In the past, a teacher suggested medicating my child. No one who held a medical degree ever suggested that to me! Nope! I don’t think so! It’s not ADD and even if it was, who are you to tell me to drug my kid and why? To make your day easier? I don’t think so! I would think a Special Ed teacher would know, and have faith to recall, the diagnosis of a students and the best way to handle it.
This year Anaia was discharged from both OT and speech because she “doesn’t exhibit any sensory issues.” What?! I see it all the time, yet Ryan and I both t trust the Lord to help us and show us how to best help our daughter.
I am not really anxious about Anaia’s future. What’s going to happen is what’s going to happen. My worrying about it is not going to fix or change anything. I CHOOSE not to worry. I CHOOSE to place Anaia and her future in the hands of the Lord.
After all, it’s the safest place for her to be.