Monday, 23 November 2015

My parents

It was my mother's birthday last weekend and I visited them together with Sunny. We spent such a wonderful time with all of my family including my parents, my sister and her husband, and my nephew and niece.

When I was about to leave in order to drive home and said goodbye to my parents my father quietly started sobbing while I hugged him tightly and his eyes welled up. It is something that he has been doing a few times now when I visited them. And it breaks my heart, every single time. I do not even know what it is that makes him so sad when I leave. Is it because he is afraid it might be our last goodbye because he is 71? Is it because he is worried about my future, now that I am in my forties and separated from my husband and have a special needs child? Or is it because he is becoming more sentimental now that he is aging?

Maybe it is all of it. All I know is that it makes me cry every single time and then my mom starts crying, too, and then we all cry and hug each other tigthly and tell each other how much we love each other.

It is sad and beautiful and painful and it reminds my of our finiteness. There is so much love between us and I know that my parents will always be there for me to catch me if I fall, no matter what.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Small steps for Sunny, huge leaps for me

I finally carved out some time to write an update on how we are doing.

First of all, Sunny is doing so very well. He is such a happy camper. His speech is also improving and he is constantly trying to say new words. Since my last post in March he manages to say "Hahm" (which means "Hahn" and that is the German word for cock/rooster; however, he cannot pronounce the N yet) and he can say "gack gack" (imitating the sound the hens make). His favourite subject has been poultry for months now.

He is also trying to count but has a hard time pronouncing the different numbers. But he does not give up and is very much trying to make himself understood. He tries so say "rein" (into), he can clearly pronounce "Heim" (home) and he is trying to say "nein" (no) but since the N is so difficult for him it is not easy to understand it. But I see that he is trying to speak and pronounce new words tirelessly and that makes me so very proud and hopeful.

When it comes to me there have been major changes in my life. As I mentioned here and there within the last year or so I have had a hard time personally. The last years have been very difficult for me and I suffered a lot but did not tell anybody. On March 25, 2015 my husband and I finally decided to split up. It was a decision that had been long overdue. We mainly stayed together because of Sunny but now we finally felt that it was time to say good-bye to this frustrating situation. We are both too young to live a sad life and dissatisfying relationship. None of us made that decision easily and it was accompanied by many tears on both sides but it was the right thing to do. After two weeks of mourning and feeling like a complete failure for not being able to hold my family together and worrying how all of this would affect Sunny I started feeling better.

So far we are handling the situation very well. We still like each other, have a very peaceful and amicable relationship, and we still live together which might seem weird for outsiders but is the best for everyone involved at the moment. I have no pressure in finding a new and comfy place to live with Sunny, the husband gets to see Sunny as often as before and Sunny enjoys both of his parents for the time being. Of course this is not be a situation that we want to live in forever and I am planning to move out in the medium term. But right now it is still okay for all of us.

Moreover, I have already found a new love. It is such an uplifting feeling and it is balm for my bruised soul. It might seem very early for bystanders because the husband and I just broke up a few months ago but, truth be told, I have been feeling very, very lonely in our marriage and it was something that I longed for for years: to feel loved, cherished, understood, and valued again. These are all things that I did not experience in our marriage for a very long time. So to me it does not feel early at all but rather like it was high time for a change in this area of my life. Being neglected for so long makes you feel small and worthless and eats away at your self-confidence. It is not a good thing and I am glad that I found someone who loves me truly and deeply and for whom I feel the same. I never dreamed it would happen so quickly but I am so very glad that we met and we are both taking this very seriously.

It will certainly bring about new challenges since we have to join our families together: he has three kids that live with him and I have Sunny. It will be a new experience for me to deal with four kids instead of only one and there will surely be problematic situations arising but I am sure we will be able to handle them well. The kids like each other, we like each other's kids, the kids like us, so the main basics fit and we will cross the other bridges when we get to them.

It was very important for me that a new partner would accept Sunny for who he is and my new man decided very quickly after meeting Sunny for the first time that he would be willing and able to take over this special responsibility. When I see them interact I know it was the perfect choice that I made when I chose him.

I am very curious to see what the next months will bring for me. But for the first time in years I am confident that my future will be bright.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Just when you start giving up hope....

... your child might surprise you!

The past months have been quite uneventful (with regard to Sunny). There was not much to report. Apart from that I was very busy with my job and a lot of other stuff in my life that needed my attention.

Sunny has been developing slowly, as it has always been the case with him. Slowly but steadily he has been taking baby steps in all areas of his development - apart from his verbal speech.

We have not noticed any progress in his verbal speech for months - no, even for years. He has not added any new words or sounds to his verbal repertoire for a very, very long time. It was so long that I finally started to lose hope in his ability to form new sounds and learning to say more words. It was hard for me to see my hope vanish but you can only hope for so long when there is not the tinyest bit of progress. At one point you start to see things realistically.

That was until last week, Friday. We were having lunch and I had white mushrooms on my plate. Sunny looked at them, pointed at them and said "Ei". Ei is the German word for egg. Somehow the round head of the mushroom must have reminded him of an egg and so he proclaimed "Ei! Ei! Ei!" five or six times in a row. That was completely NEW!!! I nearly fell off my chair! I cheered on him, clapped my hands, and kissed him a dozen times because I was over the moon! But when I asked him to repeat the word he was unable to do it. Which is the sad thing about apraxia and having a hard time doing movements intentionally with your muscles while it is no problem to move them unintentionally. I thought that he would not be able to repeat it. This has happened before and so I did not think too much about it.

On Saturday I met his teacher and told her about the "Ei" incident. She was very happy to hear about it.

Today, when Sunny came home from school the teacher had left a message on our recording device with the following information:

When Sunny arrived at school he clearly and intentionally said "Eiii" a few times. Then he went over to the board where all the pictures of his classmates are and pointed to the picture of the only girl in his class - whose name is Eyleen! He wanted to say Eyleen! All his fellow classmates were very happy for him and applauded him. When I heard that my heart leapt with happiness.

But it still gets better! Currently, one subject in school is money and doing some shopping, mainly groceries and food. The kids learn what the various coins and banknotes look like, make roleplays in school where they buy and sell stuff from and to each other, and go to the supermarket once a week where they buy food for their breakfast in school on Friday. Today they were talking about the various supermarkets we have here and Sunny, lo and behold, said Aldi. ALDI! It is one of the supermarkets where they go to and it is such a difficult word! I almost could not believe it when I listened to the recording of his teacher. WOW! I am completely in awe and so proud of him!

When I talked to him about "Ei" and "Aldi" afterwards he startet saying "Eiii! Eiii!" over and over again and was beaming with pride. He even managed to say "Eiiim" which is a completely new combination of letters I have never heard before. 

I guess this just goes to show once again how you never know what will be coming next. Our children are lucky bags and can surprise us at any given time without the merest hint in advance. BAM. Just out of the blue.

I am one happy mother today and, more important, I found hope again. There is not much more I can ask for right now. I will enjoy this feeling as long as I can.