Friday, February 15, 2013

Dear Daniel, I carried you there.

Something surprising happened this morning: we went to OT and at the end of the session, Lisa discharged you. (We came to the conclusion that it would likely not be the last session ever, but that it would certainly be the last one for now.)

There are lots of transitions in life, some of them more predictable than others. For instance, when you weaned, I could see it coming long before it happened. I wasn't quite ready there at the end, but you were—so that's what we did. Today's transition wasn't like that, D. It tiptoed up behind me and jumped up in my face, loudly announcing its arrival. (From Lisa's reaction today, I believe it might have sneaked up on her a bit, too.)

You see, going to OT has been one of the constants in our life together for quite a long time now. You had your first OT session when you were 6.5 months old, before you had even learned to crawl. The OT we were seeing then helped us teach you to be more comfortable on your belly (and in many positions other than perfectly upright). And you learned to crawl.

It's incredible, really: you've learned amazing amounts of motor skills, comfort with various food textures and other iffy tactile sensations, how to identify uncomfortable sensations and express your needs. You, Papa, and I learned together how to prepare for difficult situations, and how to help you through it afterward, too. I'll never forget the day you stepped down off the mat facing forward for the first time (instead of turning around to crawl down) and Lisa and I—shocked—both started crying tears of joy.

There have been times when we were going to OT once a week, others when we went upwards of four times per week, and times when we took longer breaks. But all of a sudden, as of today, I don't know when you'll have another OT appointment.

Lisa has done so much to help all three of us navigate the tricky path of dealing with your sensory challenges and all that brings to the table. She has become an important part of our family, and I desperately hope that we can maintain that connection with her as you now need her less and less. I have found immense solace and a sense of community in both Lisa and Kelly: people who implicitly understand the challenges our family faces without any explanation. People who ask how we've been doing and really listen to hear the answers. People who get it.

Today for the first time, you walked the whole way from our house to the office for your appointment. It's 11 blocks (0.6 miles) which is a pretty long walk for someone who is only 3' tall. By the time we left your session, you were tuckered out from all that walking and playing, so I carried you on my back for the walk home. It reminded me of the many, many times I had done that with you before: walking outside (often in the rain) with your tiny frame secured to my body—to OT and then back home again.

I realized later as I was thinking about this transition, that being carried is an apt metaphor for our journey at OT and (beyond that) for our life together as mother and child:

I carried you there until you could crawl.
I held your hand(s) until you could walk unsupported.
I stayed by your side until you could run.
And jump.
And climb.
And swing.
And slide.
And fall down.
And truly enjoy every moment of it.

I carried you there, Dear Daniel. Today you walked back on your own.



  1. This is beautiful, Amy. What a huge milestone for Daniel, for both of you. He's blessed to have a mama (and a papa) who will so lovingly and patiently carry him as he meets all of life's challenges. I know he blesses you in return, too!

    1. Thank you so much, Melissa. Daniel is such a blessing to me! Sometimes the most difficult things in life are also the most rewarding.

  2. Beautiful! What an important milestone.

  3. Oh this made me teary! What a milestone. And therapists become friends, almost like family. I understand that "desperately hoping to maintain a connection." We've been lucky to re-connect with two of M and J's therapists from CA recently. I don't know when M will be discharged here, but I know when that happens it will be bittersweet.

    1. So many of these "good" transitions are very bittersweet, aren't they? I knew you would understand this post in a personal way, Maya. Thanks for reading.

  4. How beautifully you've shared this sentiment! Thank you.

    I have a different sort of perspective as we have JUST had our first PT evaluation. I expect a closer / longer relationship with a speech therapist, who we will see for an eval next week.


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