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Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Golden Week

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When, with the ever-circling years,
Shall come the Age of Gold

Although my faith is not as strong as it once was, and in fact I probably could rightly be termed an agnostic, I do love Christmas carols and hymns. My mother is a church organist, and I grew up with the songs of religious music around the house. The verse above is from a late stanza of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear", and I have always loved it. Lately, it to some extent describes Janey---instead of "ever-circling years", it's ever-circling weeks. She has a week of crying, a week of manic excitement, a quiet week during which she barely talks, an in-the-middle week and once in a long time, a Golden Week. This past week was a Golden Week.

It's hard to describe to someone that doesn't know Janey what her golden times are like, but if you are around her, you can't miss them. It's striking. During the golden times, she talks far, far more---not echolalia, but actually talking---not full sentences, but just hugely more connected words and phrases. She looks more connected---she looks engaged and happy and, if I might say what I wouldn't want others to say, "normal". She seems to suddenly make leaps forward, as if all the work we do with her at home and at school suddenly clicks into place. It's wonderful.

Friday night was a great example. Tony finally got home from two weeks away on a business trip, and picked Janey up. Right away, she let him know what had been on her mind for those two weeks---Chinese rice! She very badly wanted him to get her some Chinese fried rice, and she stayed on message. When he got home, we all were almost on the floor laughing over how much she made sure he was going to order the rice soon, by asking in every way she knows how "I want Chinese rice! I'll get you some Chinese rice! Let's go to Chinese rice! Call the phone!" Tony looked at the menu and remarked if we ordered more than $25 worth, we could get the free crab rangoons, and Janey added that in----"I want free crab rangoons and Chinese rice!". When the food came, she sat down with all of us and ate the rice like a pro, as happy and as connected as I think almost any seven year old would be. At one moment, all five of us were having one of the free crab rangoons, and I had one of those moments where everything just feels perfect---seeing my family all together, all happy, all doing the same thing.

The whole weekend has been like that. Janey is picking up on what we say, using our words in her own phrases, doing cute things like bringing me my pocketbook and saying "California" when she wants to go someplace (she loves to hear "All the Gold in California" in the car), saying "Hi, Nana and Grandpa" nicely to my parents on the phone, reading with me happily, dancing with us----it's been great.

And I wish, I hope, I dream, as I always do, that this is not just a cycle, that this is THE turnaround, that she will stay this way forever. And because hope springs eternal, I think that it could happen. But it's unlikely. We've had times like this before, and then they end. But the fact that they can happen keeps us all going, I think---our family, her school family and all of us. She's my amazing little girl.

1 comment:

Sabrina Steyling said...

How wonderful to have these golden times with Janey; you are blessed to experience them and I do hope that this one lasts!