It's been said that all good things take time. So why do we as humans try to rush? Shouldn't we enjoy the season we are in without trying to rush to the next?
Recently someone commented on one of Jaxson's videos saying he was so smart. My immediate response was, "thank you!" I didn't stop to think about the things he hasn't yet accomplished, I simply was grateful for the compliment. The other night I was talking to my husband and I was semi complaining or expressing myself rather over the fact that Jaxson doesn't say a lot of words. He understand us when we speak and he responds to certain things when prompted. But really TALKING, he isn't doing yet. He's a little over 19 months actual and 15 months adjusted. I momentarily fell into the comparison trap. Not a good place to go!
Jaxson has come such a long way and is thriving each day. His process for talking may be taking longer than the average child his age, but I had to remind myself that it's not necessarily a bad thing. All GOOD things take time! He started walking at 16 months actual (12 months adjusted) and now he is now practically running all over the place. Getting him to this point wasn't easy. We worked with him, supported him at each stage and didn't rush the process. From his 119 day NICU stay up until now, his life has taken time to develop. He conquered chronic lung disease with the help of oxygen and medication but also with TIME! Growth and change doesn't happen over night. In order for him to have healthy and strong lungs, it took time and patience. Lot's and lot's of patience! But thankfully, he got there! On the days when weren't sure how long he would require oxygen we kept the faith. Over time we were able to wean him little by little until finally his lungs were strong and he was able to breathe 100% on his own without ANY assistance. From the outside looking in people who don't know our story may just think that he got to the point he's at without any miracles involved. Nope not the case! Each day we see miracles in his life.
Today we met with his new Regional Center Service Coordinator. We did his IFSP and talked about where he currently is developmentally. As the parent, you are required to answer questions from different categories (social, emotional, physical, cognitive, adaptive, etc.) and based on the answers, its determined where your child ranks with their adjusted and actual age. So for this assessment, Jaxson ranked pretty good in each category. He is "catching" up so to speak and showing no real delays in development. He's right on track in some areas and above in others!!! On some of the questions that I answered NO to, I realized that he isn't achieving that particular task because I haven't exposed him to it! I can't expect him to be able to write if I don't give him a pen and paper. Or I can't expect him to stack blocks if he doesn't have any. These meeting and evaluations are eye opening! In the past I would've been a bit discouraged about the "no he's not doing that yet" answers, but I honestly was proud. Proud to be the mother of a 22 week preemie who is doing AMAZING! Proud to have a smart son who is progressing and learning at his pace, not the pace that society necessarily wants.
This meeting today was a blessing for us- his service coordinator really took time to get to know us and I appreciated that. Our goal going forward is to get a speech evaluation done and and based on the results he may or may not receive speech therapy. He babbles ALL day and says (screams da-da) more times than not! He communicates with his hands, makes funny faces, and imitates us, which are all great things and we just want to make sure we are headed in the right direction which I feel we are! And if he needs that extra little push we are ok with that.
In due time and in due season I know Jaxson will say the words "mama" which I long to hear! I know he will be able to effectively communicate and just like with walking, once he really starts talking I know he won't stop :)
So I just want to encourage you today- something you really want may be taking longer than YOU want, don't worry. The time for that new job, or love, or NICU discharge, or whatever it is that you may be hoping or praying for, it will come. Don't loose heart in the waiting process. All good things come to those who wait and all good things take time!