I woke a million times last night it seemed. I didn’t go to sleep until well after two. The clock struck midnight and it was Richard’s birthday. I woke and it was still his birthday and no Richard. I tried not to think about it but there I was thinking about it. Thankfully Owen slept until after seven. I wondered if I would have to wake him for his therapy appointment this morning. We don’t have a regular schedule with this one so it’s not a routine thing for him but he loves going. This morning, however, when I told him we were going he said, “no.” After several nos, I said I would go by myself then. He immediately started saying his therapist’s name. I knew he wanted to go I just think he can’t process his actions and reactions sometimes. “No” was the word of the day though. Once he got going he was ready to get going. He couldn’t wait to see everyone at the office. I talked to him on the way there about the kindness and grace that we needed to give everyone instead of talking about their blue pants or lack thereof and treating them how we want to be treated. He did amazing. He mentioned blue pants only twice but was calm the whole time we were there. During his session, I was talking to his therapist and said we were going to go to breakfast. I wanted to gauge his response because this was surprise number two for him. He said, “no no breakfast today.” I was waiting for that. I told him grandma was going to meet us. He said it again and again and again. I was waiting for that too. I said that’s fine I’ll go to breakfast with grandma. His reply, “grandma grandma”. We went to breakfast with my parents and he did amazing. He didn’t have a meltdown and he used his fork. Those were the two big things. He kept looking under the table to make sure she had the right pants on but at least he was calm. I told him that he could use his words and have a conversation with us about how he was feeling. I like him to understand he is allowed to express emotions. He thought for a moment and said, “I’m fine in the breakfast.” And indeed he was. We talked about going to the park. This was another hot topic that was given the “no” answer one more time. I said, then grandma and I will go by ourselves. He said, “no park today” and he stuck with that the whole time to the car. I told my mom that we would try and if he didn’t want to we would go home. We pulled up to the park and he said, “grandma”. I told him they were already parked. We got out and he did amazing. He swung first and then he wanted to go on the slide I don’t let him go on because he never goes down the slide he just climbs up the ladder and tries to hang there. I told him if he didn’t go down he wouldn’t be able to go anymore. He started up the ladder and my mom followed him. He always hangs on the ladder of this particular slide for some reason. It’s a very old-school slide to me and he loves it. After me telling him numerous times he finally went down it. And again and again and again. I lost count but maybe close to fifty times. After a while, his grandma had to leave and we stayed for almost another hour. He cried when his grandma left and I told him that it was okay to show his emotions and he would see her again on Thursday. It took him a couple of minutes to stop crying but he said didn’t want to leave and then he was happy again. He said, “see grandma Thursday.” He did amazing, even letting others take turns. He swung a little more and then I told him it was time to go. He wanted to stay. No means yes unless it means no and then sometimes it’s a maybe. I didn’t let his word dictate my emotions today. Some days that feels impossible and one meltdown after another happens but today he did beautifully and I told him that every step of the way. I was happy about the park. He sang in French all the way home. It was a couple of songs and the alphabet, which I had no clue he knew. When we got home we played some and danced in the kitchen. That’s one of my favorite things we do. He swings his arms with mine and his eyes light up as we dance. He was fiddling with his tooth and he looked at me. Before I could say a thing he said, “lose a tooth it’s growing in” because he always says he is losing it and I tell him he is not but it is growing back in. Today was emotional but today was also filled with amazing progress. I pray for a good tomorrow. We are going over to our friend's house to swim in their pool. He is excited. I’m thankful for today and all the good memories that floated through my head about my brother. Kindness and grace are a gift for our future. Love goes forward when it is shared from the start. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.