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.
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.
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.