Through parenting Alyssa and Jackson, we learned that parenting is full of highs and lows, joys and challenges. So, when it came to Matthew, we expected more of the same, he is a kid after all!
Matthew hasn't disappointed-- with him, we have had highs and lows, joys and challenges. And Matthew's uniquenesses have exacerbated those highs and lows-- they are often more dramatic highs (see the Mama post) and dramatic lows (see any of the ICU posts), and there are also more tempered, but more frequent highs and lows. Following Matthew's 'mama' on Tuesday last week (dramatic high), he went days without saying it, and has only said it 3 or 4 times total since. It worries me, did I just mistake a well timed babble for a word? I watch that clip over and over again to make sure he said it about me. He did, but now he doesn't do it consistently (tempered low). His journey is never as straight and easy as I'd like.
The highs and lows aren't always day to day, they can be moment to moment. In music class, I will beam because my sweet baby Matthew is interacting with his peers, following directions, and having a good time (tempered high). And then I will notice how his peers are all talking in complete sentences, and recognizing colors, and starting to count...all while I'm excited that he said 1 word-- once (tempered low).
I have to remind myself time and time again that although Matthew is just a typical kid in many ways, his journey is truly unique. His experiences have been dramatically different, as are his genetics. So, I should expect that our experiences parenting Matthew will be similar in ways and unique in others. I sometimes forget that.