I took this photo on Sunday at the park while my kids ran out any energy they still had left after a double-header birthday party weekend. I love this time of year when there are little pops of color on just about every tree, but no tree has completely turned yet. Only the bravest, most excited little branches turn in September. Clearly they are the toddlers and the preschoolers of the trees, shouting, “Look at me!” “Watch me!” “Look what I can do!”
September was a big month here. Not unlike those trees, I experienced little pops of change, so many twists and turns. So I saw no better month to join Emily at Chatting at the Sky in sharing things I learned in September. A few serious and a few silly mixed in as a reminder that even when things feel heavy, there is always some lightness.
1. Friends are everything. Friends that instinctively know when you need them. Friends who can perform the magic of drying your tears across phone lines. Friends who listen to you, support you, and remind you that you’re doing ok. Friends who check in on you the next day to see if you were able to raise your head up a little higher in the hours in between. I survived September on the strength of my friends.
2. My daughter has figured out Pandora. I learned this when I watched her stare at the screen for a moment, as if thinking about something, before reaching out to ‘thumbs up’ a song from The Little Mermaid. I learned that she’ll thumbs up and down whenever she wants, turning the sweet kiddie music station that I play for baby boy at lunchtime into a Disney princess bonanza.
3. Apraxia. Motor Speech Delay. Developmental Pediatrician. Prompts. I learned these terms and I can define them to you like I used to define vocabulary words in high school. I also learned what an ENT does, how toddler hearing is tested, what the easiest consonant sounds are to make, how to model speech for my son, and how to observe, listen, and wait.
4. I also learned that when he smiles, giggles, or wraps his arms around my neck for a squeeze, none of those lessons matter at all.
5. To-do lists and weekly plans keep me organized and motivated. I live for drawing a straight line over words.
6. I learned that I am not the only one who yells sometimes. And that sounds strange but it’s true. I’ve never felt more alone than I have when my voice is echoing in the air between me and my kids and all I can think about are all of the other, wonderful, amazing mamas I know and how I am absolutely certain that they would never do such a thing.
7. It it more fun that I thought it’d be to see your own creation on top of a cake.
I am usually quite against having a photo put on top of a cake. It just feels so odd. But this is what the bakery could do, three days before the party, with a photo I had taken of a mermaid painting I had done. All the girls wanted a piece with the mermaid on it so I consider that a success.
What did you learn in September?