We are slowly starting to unload our baby stuff. Doing so has made me a bit morose, not because I'm sad that we are done having babies, but because our last baby experience was so very different than I had expected. I looked at the baby slings that I used so often with Jackson, but couldn't use with Matthew because he would overheat. And the baby shoes that Matthew never wore because of they wouldn't fit with his braces. And the pump that was used way more than I ever expected because Matthew never nursed because of his recessed jaw. It has just been a different experience with Matthew.
On Friday I updated Matthew's speech therapist on his latest developmental explosion. I was explaining how exciting it was to see Matthew walk with his walker when she commented how glad she was that we used it, that many families don't want to use it because they aren't ready to admit their little one isn't a typical 2 year old.
We know Matthew isn't typical, and I can't even pretend that he is. On the plane to Chicago for Thanksgiving, I told the person sitting next to us that Matthew was a little over 1, instead of almost 2. I figured that Matthew was developmentally similar to a 1 year old and not that much bigger than about a 15 month old, so I could probably get away with it and I didn't need to go into Mattie's life story with a stranger. Within 20 minutes, my seatmate started to catch on that Matthew wasn't your typical 15 month old. After coming clean and telling him that Mattie was almost 2 and was born with a rare chromosome disorder, he revealed that his youngest son was born with a more common chromosome disorder and was developmentally delayed as well. It ended up being a great trip with a person who understood a little of what we have experienced.
We can't pretend that Matthew isn't unique, and when I try it betrays our experiences and his journey. I know walking with a walker makes Matthew look different, but he is different! And some of the things he does will be or look a bit different too. I'm okay with that-- Matthew is perfectly unique!