I try not to think about missing the milestones. Trying to figure out if your child is hitting their milestones can drive you crazy, especially when everyone else’s children seem to be doing so much before you child.
Even more so when you’re a parent of a special needs child, when it’s not just one or two milestones they are not hitting. If you dwell on it too much it can totally take over your thoughts. You could be comparing all the time. Looking at photo’s on Facebook, analysing how children are playing in the park. I’m trying so hard not to focus on these big milestones. Archie will progress at his own rate, I know he will.
The milestones that I’m finding harder to deal with are the small thing you take for granted. The small things I took for granted with my first child.
At preschool all the parents were comparing their photos.
“How cute do they look in their little uniform?”
“This one is getting framed.”
“I’m definitely going to pulling this one out for their 18th birthday!”
I had to pick up Archie & walk away. We couldn’t join in that conversation. We didn’t have any preschool photos, we don’t have that first photo to hang on the wall, or to giggle at how cute they looked. Archie has Autism & is non verbal & doesn’t understand about having his photo taken. He can’t sit still or smile on cue. He won’t even go anywhere near the photographer. Instead he ran off, banging on the door to be let outside to play.
I’m currently scrolling through Facebook seeing all the gorgeous little preschool graduations. Those beautiful little faces smiling back at the camera, looking so proud of themselves in their little cap & gowns. Photo’s taken with mummy & daddy, or photos with their friends.
We don’t have those photos. Archie wouldn’t wear the gown & I would never try to force him to put it on. Instead of sitting on the little stage with all the other children, Archie was running around the preschool garden on his own. Spinning around in circles, running about on the grass.
I won’t lie. As a parent is it so hard to not have these things. These basic milestones that you take for granted, that you put in the photo album to look back on. I’m gutted I haven’t got these photos but I have something else instead.
I have this gorgeous little boy who loves being outside. Who loves running & climbing. He may not look at the camera but every now & then I get to take a little snapshot of pure joy on his face.
Whenever I feel a twinge of heartbreak about the missed milestones & the missed photos I just have to remind myself to look at this photo. To look at this face and this smile and remember that every day my gorgeous boy is making progress. That everyday my gorgeous boy is smashing his own milestones. He’s still making the same journey, he’s just taking the longer, more scenic route.