That Day Far Away

Because I’ve been in a slump lately, things haven’t been moving efficiently around here.  The kitchen’s usually messy, and I’m behind on laundry and cooking.  Wednesday, I prayed that God would help me focus and do what I have to do, and it was awesome!  I cooked, cleaned, did four loads of laundry, and got the trash out to the curb before it got dark outside.  It was a good feeling, I haven’t been able to focus like that in a long time.

Then yesterday happened.  First, I heard the absolutely heartbreaking news about the slaughterhouses in Syria.  It was so horrifying and depressing, not a good way to start my day.  Sometimes I feel incredibly helpless in the face of such overwhelming evil.  I wonder if there’s anything anyone can do, and if so, what my part is supposed to be.  But I guess that’s a blog for another time.  It really put a grey tone on my day though.

We had Gabriel’s six month review yesterday morning as well.  True to his inconsistent nature, he’s been making progress, but he hasn’t.  While he’s been learning vocab words in speech therapy and new body movements in occupational therapy, his brain just can’t seem to connect the dots and allow him to apply what he’s learned to new situations, to every day life.  While he’s been working hard at learning new individual skills, I don’t think he’s made much overall progress since his special instructor graduated him last summer.  Now there’s talk of having him evaluated to start him with one again.  Sometimes watching him really breaks my heart.  He doesn’t know how to engage the environment and life around him.  Sure, he seems happy enough to run and jump with his brothers or clutch one particular toy that a therapist has already taught him how to manipulate, but most of the time he just drifts around the house looking very blank.  He demands hugs and sitting in my lap, but you can tell it’s more that he doesn’t know what else to do with himself and mommy is his safe spot than about actual affection.  At one time, he was a very animated fellow who blew raspberries and gave exciting monologues in baby babble and got excited about certain activities.  Now he rarely animates, except in anger.  He used to have a sparkle in his eye that’s not there terribly often anymore, and a lot of times just looking at him makes me incredibly sad.

I know he will get there.  I do.  I’m not worried that he’s going to be thirty and unable to communicate or live a normal life.  He’s catching up, albeit slower than the normal learning curve, but he’s moving forward.  It’s just that I don’t know how to interact with him.  I don’t know how to do life with him.  I feed him, dress him, change his diapers, tickle him to make him laugh, let him chose the movies he wants to see, but those blank eyes and drifting gate around the house eat away at me.  I don’t know how much he understands, how much he feels, what he’s thinking or if he’s thinking at all.  He screams hysterically in frustration, and sometimes I want to as well because I don’t know what he wants.  Just thinking about it makes me cry.  It’s easier to endure things when they’re finite, and that thought does encourage me.  He’s going to catch up one day.  But this one day seems years away, and I don’t know how to reach the little guy inside, who I worry must be incredibly lonely.

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