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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy Birthday to my 8 year old

Janey is eight today. Eight years ago, a scary, scary pregnancy ended in a scary birth, and I was able to hold my surprisingly blond little girl for the first time. The nurse remarked she hadn't seen such an alert and engaged baby in a long time. She looked at me intently while she nursed so well, that first half hour. I think that half hour after her birth was one of the last times I had no worries at all about my sweet girl.

Today, where is Janey? In some ways, this past year has been one of progress. Although I'm always terrified of a jinx, she is doing far better with toilet training than I would have hoped even a few months ago. When she's at home, able to get her clothes off easily and near a potty, she's getting close to probably 80% success. That is wonderful. She had a very good year at school. Academically, she learned more than all the others years of her life combined. She can write a J, she can identify lots of letters, she knows a few of her colors down flat, she can usually pick out her name from other names...having a great ABA specialist and great teachers was, well, great. But other areas are not as encouraging. Last night, she woke at 1am to cry for literally 4 hours straight. It's been a while since we've had a night that bad. We've been in a crying spell for a few days now. She still rarely answers us. This year has seen the start of Janey The Menace, who left unsupervised for seconds will always, always find a way to do something messy and destructive. Twice lately, she attempted to run away from me in parking lots. In short, Janey is still quite severely autistic. And she, barring miracles, always will be. My beautiful, amazing girl, is, if you put it in harsh terms, a girl with low-functioning autism and retardation.

However, sometimes we have to just put that all aside and remember that it's close to a miracle that she's here at all. My pregnancy and childbirth left many opportunities for that not to be the case. Even the fact she got started was a piece of luck. Both the boys took a little help from fertility medication. She was just given to us, a present. Life with her is not easy. I don't think it ever will be. But there are those moments when Tony and I look at her, when she is smiling and happy and funny and interesting and beautiful, and shake our heads that we got so lucky.

1 comment:

Lighthousegal said...

Happy Birthday, Janey! I hope the coming year brings more progress and joy.