(Originally posted 05-JUL-2012)
I really TRY no t to compare Boo to other children. I just don’t often succeed. Take last yesterday. While other children (including Allie) were enjoying the fire department muster, Boo was to overwhelmed to participate. I tried to take her off to the side to play in the foam, but she could not over come her fears. Too many people, too much foam, too much noise. I don’t know which of these factors were too much for Boo, because she cannot tell me.
It is so difficult not to think, look at those little ones rolling in the field. They are having so much fun. Watching the utter joy on the other children’s faces as they played with the water and foam I had to continually remind myself of Boo’s progress this year. At least this year, she watched from afar. She kept calling for Allie to come out of the fun, certain she was in danger. But she wasn’t crying or clinging to my arms. She just wanted to watch and laugh from a safe distance.
It was the well-meaning family members that bothered me. Trying to force Boo into a situation she wasn’t comfortable. Trying to force her to touch the foam or play in the water. They were trying, I know, to help.
But they were not helping.
They just think this is something Boo will outgrow. They do not understand that the hours of therapy a week are necessary. That Boo needs to explore the world at her own pace. You cannot force Boo to do anything. She has to wait and make sure it is safe (thankfully Allie is a willing guinea pig). Boo does not like for you to take her shoes off and make her walk onto the grass. That it took me a week for her to be able to wear the crocs in the first place, so please do not remove them!
They do not truly understand that the doctors, surgeries, procedures, therapies are essential for Boo’s life. And that they are probably unending. A friend actually said to me that Boo was a typical 3YO, why is she in so much therapy. Then I pointed to the actual 3YOs that were playing with the firemen in the muster. The ones who were playing on the playground unassisted, going to the ice cream truck and eating without a problem. If Boo wasn’t in so much therapy she wouldn’t be rolling over let alone walking.
I understand that all children reach milestones at different times. I just wish well-meaning friends and family would begin to understand that Boo’s milestones may be in the distant future. They should rejoice in where she is, not where she should be.
And so should I.