Monday, March 10, 2014

For the love of Carter

I never like to speak of good health.  It's kind of like being at work when you are exhausted and someone starts to utter the words, "It's slow today"...and everyone just about falls out of their chairs trying to stop the rest of the words from touching their ears.  No one wants to jinx good luck.  So that is me as I type about our good happenings lately.  But it's too good not to share.  I want to document these good times as well as the tough.  I want our family, friends and well wishers to know that there is indeed days filled with rainbows and unicorns in the land of a special needs family.  We do get sleep, we do go out with friends and have date nights.  We do have great days when all in the world is fine.  We are just like other families, just with some extra bumps along the way; just like every other family in the world.

Lately, Carter has been very present.  Not just physically, but mentally.  He responds to what we are saying, in APPROPRIATE ways.  He seems to know his name again and he smiles when we come in to the room.  We tell him not to bang his head and he stops.  We kiss his face and he breaks into giggles.  When he fusses and we present him with food, he takes it right away.  He has been falling asleep all on his own in the evenings, long before we give him sleep meds.  This may be TMI to some, but in our world, this is breaking news!  He has been going number 2 all on his own, with NO medication assistance...every. single. day.  Not only is he growing in size, but in his cognitive abilities.  These are the moments that we work so hard for and wish for when the days are bleak.  For the love of Carter, we will fight every minute of every day to have more days like these.  There is so much more to a child who has special needs than the needs that we all seem to think are more than most can bear.  There is so much more to families who love for these special kids.  We don't just change diapers all day or monitor medications...we don't just see seizures or lifting as obstacles; we see them as labor of love.  We find joys in every day out of our son, just like we do in our daughters.  Even though we adore our daughters and we are so proud of their every stride, I must say that there is a different type of joy and pride that we experience with Carter.  To see his smiles at appropriate moments or his head bobbing in tune with a song in the car, is like seeing a miracle happen before our very eyes.  Our hearts become so full, we wonder whether our chests will be able to stretch big enough to handle it.  Changing a poopy diaper that most would run the other direction from, is a monumental moment for us.  We celebrate the fact that his organ functions are WORKING like they should.  We see these things as independence for Carter.  We know that he is never totally out of the woods, but we embrace the day.  We don't take any of these minutes, hours, days or improvements for granted.

For the love of Carter, can we get a high five, fist pump and happy dance?!

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