My girls have had a ton of doctors appointments over the last ten years. And something I have never really shared before , is that sometimes I feel lonely doing them all by myself. They are a long process, as you Mom's know. The driving and the waiting of it all. I am a practical, efficient kind of gal though, and it has never made sense to have my husband leave our small business unattended. It was only after seeing other Moms in waiting rooms, accompanied by BFF's, or their Mothers, that made me secretly wish for my own willing accomplice, just to hang out with me.
There was this one appointment for Zoe, that I won't ever forget. This one appointment, that I especially wished someone had shared with me. Not just because of the tears shed on the drive home, but really , just to share the clarity of what I DID see on that drive home.
I saw the contrast of blue sky framing a scattering of white clouds. I saw flowers in bloom, magentas and red and couldn't stop thinking about what Zoe would get to see in her lifetime. Zoe has a retinopathy, and at that appt. the Doc talked about her prognosis , that she would eventually lose her vision. On that day, I started to really see life differently.
Since then, Zoe continues to maintain functional vision, and the Docs' maintain her prognosis and the presence of her retinopathy. I try to maintain my own presence of committing to live life fully- even the at-home moments. Somewhere in my research, post diagnosis- I read about the small slices of life- kids with special needs sometimes miss. As we Mom's prepare, adapt, and plan ahead to conserve energy, ease the strain of tired muscles, save time, or try to make things easier , our kids might miss the simple things - like how you make those scrambled eggs, what goes into cookie dough before it appears in the bowl with a spoon to be stirred, where do the ingredients come from, or what is actually INSIDE the refrigerator?
So during the slow down of summer, I try to seize the extra moments to just experience the ordinary. This summer, Zoe's growth has allowed her balance to stabilize enough for me to envision her outside on wet cement, with her walker- and not overworry about slipping and accidents. Water balloon fun will come next, but I started with the ordinary act of washing the car- and she loved it! When we bake at our house, I haul the Kitchenaide mixer to the kitchen table, with all the ingredients to be measured so she can scoop, measure and experience the start to finish process. This week we made playdoh and chocolate crinkle cookies.
To Zoe, all this ordinary was terrific fun, and helps to build her independence. She was proud of her accomplishments, and so was I. And just yesterday, I had another proud Mom moment, almost moved to tears even, when I found her steadied by her walker, leaning into the open refrigerator.
" Umm.. What you doin' Zoe?" I asked. Silence, then.. " Just getting my OWN Gogurt, Mom" she said and then she slowly turned, spinning around in her walker , to show me the biggest grin ever.
She put the Gogurt in her walker basket, and scurried out of the kitchen. And for once, I didn't even think about how she would open it, or if she needed help. I just stood in the moment, enjoying the warmth from within, savoring the slowness and simple moments of Summer.