Wednesday, December 2, 2015
An OMG moment at our back door
I came home from running errands the other evening, a rare trip without the baby. Max was standing at the back door. He has supersonic hearing and can detect a car pulling into our driveway basically from anywhere in our house. Max had a big smile on his face, as he always does when he sees me or Dave coming home. There's nothing like it to lift my mood at the end of a long day.
As usual, I knocked on the door so Sabrina, Dave or our babysitter would let me in. Twisting door knobs hasn't been in Max's repertoire of movements, exactly why I had that freakout months ago when the sitter closed Max's bedroom door and I heard him pounding on it to get out in the middle of the night.
And then: I saw Max fiddling with the knob and he pulled the door open.
I couldn't believe it.
I mean, sure, it was entirely possible that someday Max would be able to manipulate door knobs. But I'd gotten used to both of us waiting patiently at the door as someone else let me in. Sometimes, my acceptance of Max's challenges gets in the way of my hopes for him. It's a way of staving off disappointment, I know.
"Max, you opened the door yourself!!!" I screeched. It felt like winning the lottery, as it always does when Max does something new.
"YEAH!" he said, gleefully.
"Can you do it again?" I asked. Max nodded. I had to know it wasn't a fluke.
So I walked back out and closed the door. And again, Max jiggled the knob and opened it.
"OH MY GOD YOU OPENED THE DOOR!" I said, and gave him a hug.
"OMG!" said Max, and cracked up. He seemed so proud of himself.
Mind: blown. Just like that, all those years of Max not being able to let me into the house became a thing of the past. Although as with all the other accomplishments, big and small, I'll never take it for granted. There are plenty of times when I get flashes of gratitude that Max is walking up and down stairs/toilet trained/using an iPad and speech app/feeding himself/[insert various milestones and inchstones]. Although if one of these days Max jumps into the car, turns on the ignition and attempts to drive himself to the local ice-cream store, I will not be very happy.
The next night, as we sat in Max's bed reading a book, I asked him to turn the pages. I usually do it except I was feeding Ben. Max tried again and again, but inadvertently kept grasping the entire book; his fingers often don't do what he wants them to. His challenge with flipping pages is one of those things that I've never accepted. It pains me to see him struggling to do something that is so seemingly simple but isn't for a kid who has trouble using his hands.
Yet the open-door achievement had stayed with me. I lay Ben down on the bed so I could lend a hand. For once, though, I let myself hope that someday Max might be able to turn the pages of a book.
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 6:37 AM