Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cracking Open the Door

Two moments yesterday nearly took my breath away:

My mom was visiting and was playing Memory with Anna in her room near the cool of air conditioning. Ethan was in there jumping on the bed and I was in the kitchen attempting to make a blueberry pie.

"Mom!" Ethan came in. "Come to Anna's room?"

I dutifully followed him. My son was seeking my attention, and I wasn't about to ignore him. I sat on the floor.

"Watch me!" he shouted, as he fell face-forward on the bed. I clapped. "Mom! Watch me!" he yelled again, and did the trick. And again: "Mom! Look!" There was no way I could get bored with this. He was trying to direct my attention to him to show me something. This skill, more importantly, this desire, usually emerges around 12-18 months. Ethan could have asked me to watch him all afternoon.

He fell face down on the bed and moved his arms back and forth. "I'm swimming!" he yelled. Then he moved to the other side. "I'm too deep!" Meaning the deep end.

"Go back to the shallow end!" I yelled, and he jumped to the other side.

Two hours later, I was in the kitchen making dinner and Ethan was at the table with a toy school bus. He's had this toy bus for months. All of the rubber wheels are gone (he peeled them off at different points).

"The girls are on it," he announced to me. He began gently rolling the bus. I dumped pasta in the boiling water.

"MOMMY!" I suddenly heard a screech. I turned around quickly only to realize Ethan wasn't talking to me.

"Mommy!" he yelled, as the bus tipped on its side. The "girls" inside were yelling mommy, scared.

"It's okay," he then said, in a reassuring voice. "Your mommy will be there soon."

He looked up. "The bus - his name is Buster."

Over a year of Early Intervention therapy. Six months of school. Hours upon hours upon hours of watching and sometimes trying to join in with me with pretend play at home. Every single moment of it was absolutely worth it to watch Ethan, really for the first time, come up with a pretend play idea completely on his own.

The best part? He was having fun. He was sitting at the table, waiting for dinner, amusing himself, and enjoying the tiny scene he'd created.

His world is expanding. I couldn't be more excited for him.

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