It's Thursday afternoon, and it's supposed to be be storming outside, but it's sunny and HOT! I feel kind of ripped off. I was looking forward to come coffee, thunder, and lightning while my boys are asleep. Oh, well. At least, thankfully, there's coffee! I had a crack-of-dawn toddler today so I need the extra jump!
I can hardly believe it's only Thursday. It's been a long, busy, emotional week for me, and the thought of two and a half more days seems a little daunting! There have been parties and gatherings, swim lessons and therapy, meetings and errands. We've been here, there, and everywhere and it's been a mix of fun, emotional, and exhausting!
On Sunday we celebrated my niece Emilia's 6th birthday with a Madagascar-themed birthday party that included a face painter, balloon artist, and cotton candy! PJ has a blast running around with his cousins and assorted "big kids" and the adults were able to enjoy the good food, wine (lots of wine!) and conversation! Emi got so many great, thoughtful gifts and seemed thrilled to ring in her 6th year with such a good time!
Monday PJ had an occupational therapy appointment at CHOP. He is showing the slowest improvement in his fine motor skills so Pete and I made the decision to seek additional therapy for him. The sessions are going extremely well- the hospital-based therapy is able to offer PJ a wider array of activities and methods then home based. We are both hoping that this will give PJ the extra boost he needs to improve his fine motor skills as amazingly as he has his others! And right now, therapy is fun for PJ. He gets to do puzzles and swing in hammock swings and crawl through tunnels! I don't have to feel like we are making him do something that is horrible.
I also had my annual visit to make sure everything is okay in Lady Land and was given a script for my first mammogram! OH BOY! *squish* The need for the mammogram is due to the fact that my gene pool is swimming in breast cancer, not because my exam uncovered any lumps, thank goodness.
On Tuesday we had our first meeting to discuss the transition for PJ to move from Early Intervention to the special needs preschool program. It was a difficult moment for me. Not so much because I am worried about PJ going to preschool or because I don't have faith in the program. I'm not worried and I do have faith- I have first-hand proof of how successful these programs are, having seen other children go through it. PJ has made amazing progress since we utilized Early Intervention and I am so excited to see what school has in store for him!
But...oh. Letting go of my baby. It's hard enough to think about sending my sweet boy off to school like a big kid. All the times I imagined it, I thought about choosing his clothes and picking him out a book bag and packing him lunch. I knew I would miss him and I knew I would cry when the day came. But I didn't imagine it coming with paperwork and IEP's; evaluations and meetings; "special needs" and Autism. It feels horrible to admit it...but there's a bit of mourning there for me. My dreams for PJ have been rewritten a little bit, and that's fine. It's more then fine- if there was no autism, no therapy, no special needs, well, there would be no PJ. It would be some other kid. And I wouldn't trade PJ away for anything. But sometimes, it's hard to say goodbye to the way I thought it would be.
That evening, we celebrated Emi's actual birthday with some family time at the pool and yummy food at Pete's sister's house. PJ had so much fun swimming with his cousins but by the time we got to Shelly's for dinner and cake, PJ was pretty much at end of his little toddler rope. After he threw dog kibble across the kitchen three times (Oh. Mah. GAWD.) and had a very loud crying jag, it was time to go. We were both teetering on our last nerve! After PJ was bathed, pajamaed, and tucked into bed with a story, I contemplated either getting drunk or just going to bed myself. I figured those were my options, since my emotions didn't, in my opinion, leave me fit for human companionship. Instead, I swallowed my pride and took a good friend up on his offer of Diet Coke (so I didn't have to drink straight Malibu) and company. It was one of the few times that I was smart enough to simultaneously realize what amazing friends I have *and* remember that I can lean on them for support when I need to. It's easy with the people who really love you.
Wednesday was a slightly more mellow day, with speech therapy that morning and a swim lesson that night. PJ's swim skills still need work, but his confidence in the pool is amazing! He's not blowing bubbles, but he holds his breath and is not afraid to go under water. He will "swim" to me from the wall or step and has no problem with letting go and venturing out into the pool. He loves to jump in from the edge of the pool but also seems to be careful with his body and no too reckless. I'm hoping his paddling/kicking skills will improve but in the meantime, my little fishie loves to swim!
And here we are at Thursday. PJ followed his therapy session this morning with a monster nap this afternoon! He is refreshed and ready for some more cousin time tonight, as the kids get together one last time as a group of 13 before Pete's cousin Jen and her brood of 5 go back home after an extended visit. Tomorrow we're looking forward to some playdate/pool time with dear friends, the start of the Summer Olympics (hooray!) and a weekend filled with more parties and play dates!! Even though my heart sometimes lags a bit behind my enthusiasm, I know that we are so lucky to be surrounded with such fun!