Our little boys have this very annoying habit of waking us up at 6:00 in the morning on the weekends. They do this because they want to go downstairs to watch T.V. In order to discourage them from doing this, we keep sending them back to their room to play with toys until a more reasonable hour. They respond to this request by repeatedly coming into our room, every 2 minutes, until they wear us down to pleading, weeping, and finally submission. I know we've heard a lot on the news about various torture methods being deployed by the government. Clearly none of the people using these techniques are parents, because if they were, they would know that trying to sleep in the vicinity of an impatient and persistent child is one of the most effective torture methods out there. They keep coming in to our room, and we keep telling them to "Go play!". Then I lie awake (my husband, lucky him, can fall back asleep in a matter of seconds. I really kind of hate that.) and wait for the next appearance. It's like waiting for the next drip of water from a leaky faucet.
During one of these times of lying in wait, I overheard a conversation between Logan and his little brother. One of the sweetest things about the two of them is that even though people can't always understand either one of them when they speak (Cameron is only two, and Logan has a speech delay), they can understand each other perfectly. So they were having a conversation, and I couldn't quite hear the question Cameron asked him, but I could very clearly hear Logan's answer. And what he said nearly broke my heart. He said, in his sweet little voice, "I no like to play because it makes me sad."
I understood why he said this. Playing in the conventional sense is very hard for Logan. Planned, intentional movement is challenging for him, because two of the areas of his brain that are damaged are motor and visual/spatial. What we tend to think of as "playing" is actually hard work for him. And it's not something he can naturally pick up on his own. We've had to show him how to play, every step of the way. It took five years of sitting down with him and a pile of blocks for him to be able to build a tower. And now he's old enough to realize that other kids don't have that same problem. So when he plays, and it's difficult, and he senses that it shouldn't be, it makes him sad.
I let the tears run down my face, and I knew that we had to change some things. I always knew playing was difficult for Logan, and so we didn't push it because we wanted to give him a break. But clearly he needs more from us. And he can learn all kinds of things, when we work on it with him over and over and over again. So, let's "go play". Together.
I am so glad you are here! Welcome to my blog. Look around and make yourself comfortable, because this is your space, too. My name is Amy, and I am no stranger to the ups and downs of life. Join me as we search for beauty and authenticity, tell our truth, and hold space for each other in the messiness of life.