The two little misters were due for checkups, including flu mists last week. I like to think I am brave about many things, my friends, but bringing my children for shots is not one of them. It is a necessary evil, but one I have determined it is best for my sanity to delegate to my husband. After all, they are 50% his children too. That 50% mostly comes into play for the unpleasant parts of parenting, I'm finding.
You learn as you go.
Anyway, after discovering I could substitute a mist for a shot in this particular instance, I declared this one of the NOT unpleasant things, and we showed up ready to go. Well, I say "ready to go," but I had to repeat, "No, Big C, you are not getting a shot today. It's a mist, baby, not a shot. You inhale it. It's not a shot. I promise. No, really" roughly a billion times.
He's a tad hard-headed. And panicky. Not sure where he gets that from.
So, mid-reassurance, we enter the Well Patient Waiting Room. The waiting room that is, you know, reserved for mostly well patients, but which was subsequently dubbed in my head as the Room in Which I Almost Hugged a Random Stranger's Child.
That wouldn't have been weird, right?
Because this kid is forever going to be ingrained in my memory. See, I don't see Little C in typical social situations very often, so this sneaked up on me a bit. Baby boy strolled into that room, walked right up to another little boy his age, and proceeded to chatter away. As I watched in stupification, he announced his name (albeit a little scripty-like), and played with this kid. He was pointing out things to him and engaging him with toys.
Me? I tried not to cry. And wondered if this kid's mom would call the police on me if I hugged him. Because all I could think was, Good Lord, this. THIS is progress. A year and a half of therapy, at the start of which this kid had no idea how to socialize. And this other kid's mom isn't so much as blinking at these skills, but Oh Lord, my kid is INITIATING PLAY WITH A STRANGER, UNPROMPTED, and making it all look so easy. Typical Kid Mom isn't even looking up from her iPhone, and there is MAGIC happening right in front of her.
"Look!" I LOVE THAT WORD.
This was the first time I've ever been disappointed at how quickly we were taken back to see the doctor at a pediatrician's office.
Fresh off of that high was Thanksgiving Away from Home. This event last year was--um--shall we say, not well received. And by "not well received," I mean that we spent 3/4 of the holiday outside, away from the crowd of people and food that little C refused to eat, and stressed. Really stressed.
It went less than well, that year.
But this year, little C was enamored of his cousins, talkative and playful, and was quite the life of the party. A far cry from last year, to say the least. How did we get this lucky? I found myself wondering.
Then I realized that luck had nothing to do with it. Hard work, by everyone from his therapists down to and especially Little C himself, is responsible for his progress.
So this year, I am thankful for the kind of progress that leaves our relatives remarking on the change in Little C all Thanksgiving day long. The kind of progress that enables a very sick Little C to lay his head on that mom's shoulder this weekend, and declare miserably, "Mommy. My ear hurts."
The kind of progress that creates magic in a doctor's office waiting room.