On Monday our YH turns three.
Three years old!
I cannot possibly tell you how this happened. How this moment is suddenly upon us when only yesterday we asked to parent a wee eleven month old baby. (and then waited...waited...waited)
This birthday feels momentous to me, and sad, and happy, and lovely and terrible. I guess that's what parenting this child will always be, no? A sudden punch of every emotion known to man.
Of all my children this one has brought me the most opportunity to examine my own shortcomings. It is as if each morning I put my weakness under the microscope. I take a deep breath and peer through the eye-piece, and there I see some green things twist and bend. My intentions wiggling up against my limitations. My hopes and dreams suddenly obscured by slimy doubts. My frailty crawling alongside the bravery needed to advocate for YH.
This beautiful boy.
Monday will be a full day for YH. I will open the door to his sleeping nook early, and crawl into his toddler bed next to him. I will press my lips against his full cheeks, and gently wake him. He will protest in his own YH way.
"No thank you mama. No thank you." as he burrows under his pillow.
I will persist and within an hour we will walk to school with Sweet Bubs. YH will wear his Thomas the Train backpack and I will marvel at how he can walk with it bumping against the backs of his knees. I will clasp his tiny hand as we walk into the cafeteria, where his new pre-school teacher will greet him.
After months of endless evaluations YH has finally qualified for our district's PPCD (pre-school programs for children with disabilities). He is the youngest in our school's current PPCD group and so he will spend his day with four year olds, working on expressive language, articulation, and self-help skills. He will come home exhausted, with a mouth sore from the effort of being understood.
The goal is for him to make significant progress in his speech development. While I (of course) want this for him it is hard to imagine YH speaking in full sentences and paragraphs. So much of our communication now is achieved through the intimacy of our bond. I alone know exactly what he needs/wants with just a gesture. I alone can decipher his frustrations. We have "inside" jokes that require not a sound to be uttered. One of us will raise an eyebrow and send the other into a fit of giggles.
I'm not sure I'm ready to give that up just yet. I'm not sure I'm ready for our own code language to be replaced by phrases intelligible to the rest of the world. Selfish thing that I am, I want to protect our private language. I want to preserve his dependence on me as interpreter.
YH is turning three and after three comes four and after four comes five....
The other three that looms large in our home these days is the three-some unit that is YH and his two older siblings. As you may remember our first few months together as a family of five were rough for the bigger kids, especially Sweet Bubs. Sweet Bubs wanted so desperately to be a big brother, and he was crushed by YH's lack of interest in playing with his siblings.
I am happy to report that now, ten months in, Sweet Bubs and YH are inseparable. YH follows his big brother everywhere and insists on having Sweet Bubs in the tub with him, tucking him in at night and holding his hand when we run errands.
Their relationship is amazing. AMAZING.
Miss A now gets to roll her eyes at the antics of her two little brothers. She naturally assumes a leadership role when it is three of them engaged in an activity and she will not hesitate to correct any act that violates a "rule" (imagined or otherwise).
When one of my three gets hurt the other two rush to the injured party's side. They huddle together on the sofa to look at books and they sing along to awful pop songs in the backseat of the car, each trying to escalate the volume higher than the other two. They squabble and fuss and pout at each other and sometimes they just fall in a heap on the rug and roll around like wolf cubs.
They are three.
Three parts of the whole.