Eight months into this magical year of travel, and I can breathe a sigh of relief and say unequivocally that it has already been filled with growth and learning for each one of the five of us.  Even, and maybe especially, for Peanut.

You can read some of his story here

We have proven his therapist’s fears were unfounded. HUGE gratitude fear didn’t win this one.

Many milestones have been joyfully celebrated along the way. Some were small (increased coordination and stability in his walking).  Some were big (flying calmly, without frightened screaming for the first hour). And some have been HUGE (calling me “mama”)!  I am so proud of the effort and hard work he expends daily, to challenge himself.

Loving his core work at the fair today!

This little man brings me immense joy. I’m so grateful that he’s tickled to cover my face with kisses, and wrap his arms around my neck for some heart-melting cuddles. Each day with him is truly a gift. (I was going to say each moment, but only in a big-picture kind of way would that be true. There are moments, especially when he’s screeching, frustrated by his inability to communicate something, for which I’m not as thankful).

But, there’s one milestone that I knew we’d face during our travels, which I’ve been anticipating and dreading. In equal parts.

It happened today.

My Peanut turned FOUR.

Angry Bird birthday breakfast

He’s no longer a toddler.

And, once again, but in a different and deeper way, I know the pain of loss. He’s not just “on his own schedule”.

Being ‘four’ makes his delays more glaringly apparent. More is expected of him, even by me. And, less allowances are made for him. And, it’s harder to watch a one-year-old begin to learn the things he cannot do. Hopefully, cannot yet do.

Today requires more ‘letting go’. Again. And it’s hard.

Dreamboat and I are realizing that sweet Peanut is going to get more challenging, and sometimes downright difficult, to take out in public, as his frustration levels increase. Last night’s dinner, supposed to be a real treat at a French bistro we found here in Lima, turned into frustration and gritted teeth, while Dreamboat and I took turns walking Peanut outside. We think he was overly hungry. Or maybe didn’t want to sit in a high chair. Or perhaps wanted sushi (I’m only partially kidding. He loves to eat sushi. But other than for sweet things, he’s never shown a preference before). And, he couldn’t tell us.

The good news, and what I’m counting on, is that the increased frustration means that Peanut will work harder on his communication. That he’ll learn to speak.

I don’t have all, or even many, of the answers for where this path will take us. And I’ve no idea what life will bring to the table in the future. But I do know that along the way, like today, I have to let go of my dreams. And grieve. And then let Peanut guide. And remind myself that in these four years together, our lives are already more beautiful than the plans and dreams that I had for us.

Sharing an oreo shake with Daddy. A perfect end to a perfect day.



Filed under May 2013

30 Responses to Four

  1. Sarah Wilson Sweetman via Facebook

    Oh my gosh – I loved this post Heidi – Happy Birthday Peanut – he is so blessed to be your son Heidi (and Dreamboats of course too). I am so glad the therapists were wrong too – and though his progress is slow, he is making strides. Mama – oh my gosh – tears!! seriously!! Love you guys so much xo

  2. Coby Hallas

    As always simply amazingly inspiring!!!

  3. Ingrid Hubik Freire

    Happy Birthday Peanut! Loads of faith and grit to you, Heidi, and Dreamboat.

  4. Beautiful perspective.

  5. Happy Birthday Poose CaMoose (Canadian for delightful young person who takes up a special place in my heart)!

  6. This year of having both mama and papa 24/7 no doubt will be a building block to grow and grow. Some people run from challanges you two face them head on. I admire you both.

  7. Forgot to say thank you for your invaluable proofing and comments on my book. It's at the publisher now. Please do give me an address when you know I can send a copy to you (preferably someplace you will not have to pay duty etc. LOL (Still sorry about that).

  8. Arlene Bridges Samuels

    Heidi, your transparency is inspirational. May God continue to supply you and Dreamboat with strength and wisdom.

  9. Patricia Fackina Cormack

    Please always know that I understand… Really understand an I am so thankful our God brought us together … Love and hugs

  10. Thanks SO much for your support for him, and for me! I am deeply grateful.

  11. Judi Kelly Toland via Facebook

    Every picture I see of Peanut (I feel like he is OUR Peanut) I will (and have been) pray(ing) for him and for his progress. So, keep those pics coming. I always have to show someone, anyone nearby his pic because he is so adorable! Bless you as you continue to be led as his mom and dad.

    See, you made the right choice to go ahead and take the year away from his therapists. People who are educated in one line of thinking very often have no understanding for any other options/methods of learning. And of course there is the whole area of the miraculous that is involved! You go mom!

  12. David R. Jones via Facebook

    Great post

  13. Jana Futch

    Heidi, I read each of your blogpost! You are an amazing woman and truly inspiring. I teach special needs children and have for a number of years. However, not being a parent I can only in small part understand. Thank you for giving me a window into your world. God bless you and your family as you continue on this journey of HOPE!

  14. Missy Mareau Garcia via Facebook

    Oh Heidi I love you so, and I love that Peanut. We carried our babies together, and he is so dear to my heart. I can’t wait to see him blow all of our expectations out of the water.

  15. Sharon Joy Mansour via Facebook

    Wonderful post Heidi. Peanut is such a sweet little one… often in my thoughts. We love you guys!

  16. Thank you so much Jana. I am humbled and truly grateful for the support.

  17. Thank you. For loving him. For loving me.

  18. I understand your frustrations Heidi – I so wish Ruthie could communicate more – I so want to hear what she wants, as you probably know, she has down syndrome and I really don’t know what I would do if she was not in our lives, she brings us so much joy, but I do wish she could communicate more what she is feeling ect – keep up the good work, you are a good Mom!

  19. God bless you and Dreamboat as you meet theses challenges!!! He looks soooo happy in all of the pictures!!! I know you are doing an amazing job!!!!