Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Batter Up! and other tales of growth and maturity


A little self-indulgence today, stuff I need to get out before I burst.  :-)

It continually amazes me how things can change in the course of a year.  12 months.  52 weeks.  365 days.  Doesn't sound like much when you put it that way.  And really, it's not.  Even though that's not what I tell myself to keep from getting depressed at how much older I'm getting and how quickly...

But every time I get frustrated at something Samantha is or is not doing, I always have to think to myself, but what will it be like next year?  I look forward to her developmental growth spurts, even though they're often accompanied by a little bit of bad or annoying behavior - bucketsfull of stubborn, coupled with the insistent and painfully persistent, oh-so-sweet but oh-so-not-helpful, "Let me help!!"  I'm not complaining, really!  It's endearing, and I have to remember to recognize it for what it is, to harness it and use it to our advantage, to spur the next stage of growth and maturity.

There are so many examples, but I'll highlight just a few.

Last year she started playing t-ball in the Challenger league.  All signs beforehand led us to believe she was completely excited to try this new endeavour.  But what we got was complete shut-down when it came to actually being expected to do something.  This was what we got:

2012

Fast forward a year, and the game has changed.  No parental assistance needed (just a little bit of guidance from the coach at the plate), and we've discovered that my little one packs a pretty powerful punch, smacking the ball down the first base line again and again.  She runs the bases like a pro (sort of), making darn sure she stomps on the plate for good measure at each stop. 

2013
She's learning to play rhythms on the piano, playing songs with enthusiastic confidence using the special book she has to accompany the note stickers on the keys.  I even taught her Chopsticks.  She took to heart her homework assignment from music class the other day, insisting that she needs to practice.  I think I see lessons in her future... 



Ummmm...anyone else see a few too many letters in her name?

For several agonizing, frustrating years, she'd refused to look at the camera when I tried to take pictures of her.  Capturing her completely unawares was the only way to sneak a shot.  (I'm sure you all know how sad that made me feel.)  And now?  She's become the most amazing, patient, lovely little model I could have asked for.  All I have to do is tell her I need to take her picture for my friends, and she's ready to go!  The photo below is one I've set up for my other blog (on a short haitus right now as I sort through all of my current responsibilities).  Vogue, here we come!

Why didn't I notice this jacket was missing a button until now??
 
As we approach her 7th birthday, I've been enjoying reflecting with Steve on the amazing leaps and bounds she's made this year, the developmental jumps, the progress.  It's so fun to watch, much like the growth chart being tracked in pencil on the living room doorway.  What?  Another inch in the last 3 months? 
 
Oh, my baby's growing up, and up, and up...
 
Whatever will next year bring?

9 comments:

Stephanie said...

I love this post. I have days where I'm thinking, if we could just get to "whatever age" but then I realize I don't want to wish it all away too soon. I look back to where we were a year ago with Owen and I can't believe all of things he's done between then and now. It makes me realize that things will happen, changes will be made, and he will understand more as time goes on.

Lisa said...

Cate is the same way, I have to step back anytime I get frustrated that she isn't "getting" something age approriate and remember how much she has learned. From 50 sight words last year at this time to reading 1st grade books for example. An OT at our IEP told me something that I wonder if it explains the burst of bad behavior that come with Cate's growths as well. She said that any time a child with low muscle tone has a major muscle growth spurt they have to deal with coordination issues because all the little muscle have to catch up to the new formation. So that means speech can degrade for a while, fine motor skills might take a small step back for a time, etc - I can't imagine how frustrating that is for our kids who work so hard to learn those things the first time. I would get cranky too I guess.

Becca said...

That's very, very interesting, Lisa! About a year ago, Samantha's speech got really weird. Like she'd suddenly lost clarity and stopped making sense. I got really concerned, but someone suggested a developmental growth spurt, and sure enough, she started excelling at something else and her speech came back to normal. It's sooooo weird when that kind of stuff happens! But I'm glad to know it's pretty well-recognized.

The Holt's said...

Love this post!! So proud of her.

Deborah said...

She is beautiful! I love that she's enjoying T-ball this year. It's very cool to read about how she's learning and growing.

Jenny said...

Oh that first pictures kills me!!!! hahaha...This was so great to read. I love reading experiences from those ahead of us in this journey. I feel like you have so much wisdom and insight to offer. Love hearing how much Sammi has grown over the past year too :)

Kerri Ames said...

Buckets full of stubborness :) I swear I am taking that expression for Boo. I always feel that stubborn sees her through. And apparently that is true with Kayla. I think it is what gives them the strength to try so hard.
Even if it makes me want to bang my head against the wall!

evrfwd said...

What wonderful and great strides Sammi has made! Thanks for sharing. She is a true inspiration for all people with Down Syndrome. She's gonna do great things, heck she already does!!! Good work mama.

Laura said...

This post gets me pumped for Ben's next few years:) Go, Samantha, go!