We're coming up on the year anniversary of Henry's diagnosis. Somewhere in the last 4-6 weeks, life is....well, I can't say it too loud....perhaps a whisper? back to normal.
The girls are in school. I'm back to my fulltime work schedule. Soccer season is in full swing, except now we've got three sets of practices and games to arrive late for. I'm doing things like fall clothes shopping, looking at plane tickets for the holidays, even considering taking an overnight, sans kids, with Hubby.
It's exhilarating. I love that I'm once again annoyed and complaining about the little stuff. What a luxury.
Something happened over the year, that I didn't anticipate. Though it may be more obvious to the rest of you, Henry is a year older than when we started. He was barely 3 at the time, still requiring help with toileting. He had the attention span of a fruitfly, and we were unable to sit down for a board game as a family. We needed blankets, binkies, diapers, strollers whenever we went anywhere. We had to work around the nap. Typical life with a younger child.
One of the forgiving things about parenthood is that you get eased into situations. The first time you get a terrible two tantrum handed to you, it's like being bitch-slapped by a former convict. Lucky for you, there are 4,552 more tantrums to come, and by the time you live through a hundred or so, you're got the upper hand. The eye rolls come before she really means it, before she's a full-fledged teen. You get to manage kindergarten homework before the middle school scheduling starts.
With Henry, it's like someone hit the developmental pause button, but now we're back to live TV. It's like he jumped a year.
All of the sudden, he's a delightful 4 year old. 4 years olds are great - they get humor, and love to make everyone laugh. They're proud of their independence, their accomplishments, and motivated to be a "big kid". They play games, they love to read, they begin to expand their palates. It's one of my favorite ages.
Over a very brief period of time, we've hit parenting Shangri La. After 10 years of having young children, we are now stroller, nap, and binky-free. I can cook without a crying child clinging to my leg. We sleep uninterrupted, at least most nights. The promised land.
And even better, everyone's happy. Healthy. Busy.
This has been a really nice surprise.