I love it when friends and family visit who have not been here in awhile. I love how they comment on my kids; how they have grown, what is different about each of them. It's fun because when you are with a child every day, you don't see them growing. You notice changes but not as clearly as someone who hasn't been around in a few months.
My in laws are visiting for Christmas. I love how they point out the changes they see in their grandchildren since their last visit. I really love what they notice about Lilli. Tonight my mother in law told me Lilli seems more content. Much happier. She is also more aware and connected with what is going on around her.
The ipad is helping to bridge a gap that has been there all of her life.
This year there have been many changes in Lilli compared to last year. Some are small, subtle changes. But to me, they are huge. Each year, we make a gingerbread house. Chloe helps me with the whole thing. Last year we took Lilli's hand and helped her put one - one M&M on the house, and she did not enjoy that at all. She squirmed away immediately. No interest whatsoever.
This year, the therapist and I both talked to Lilli about decorating the house, typed about it, and looked at pictures of gingerbread houses. She really focused on it. She picked up each piece of candy and carefully put it on the roof. She took her finger and pushed it into the icing on her own. I think she must have put at least six pieces on the house.
If you are shaking your head right now, I understand why. Ok, one piece, six pieces, wow. But for Lilli, that is huge. She cared. She was interested. It was a change from last year. I absolutely live for those moments of interaction with her. This year she "helped" wrap a few gifts. She chose what she wanted to give people by pointing. She helped me type sweet messages to her therapist and her teacher. Tonight she paid attention when she opened one gift. She helped put a carrot out for the reindeer. We typed "reindeer" together on the ipad.
This year is particularly special. This year I will get to ask her what she thinks of her gifts, and she will be able to tell me. We will teach her how to spell the names of the toys she gets, and we will type about them.
I can't wait for Christmas because of that. I am so excited about all of my children and the look in their eyes when they wake up in the morning. But I am really looking forward to those peaceful moments later in the day when I can ask Lilli which was her favorite gift.
Her answer, no matter what it is, will be a gift to me. I can't wait.