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This Time Around I Won’t Take Things for Granted

Melissa Schlemmer by Melissa Schlemmer Additional Needs

Melissa Schlemmer

Melissa Schlemmer

Currently I am trying to juggle life with an infant, 7 year old, and a nearly 5 year old with special needs. Life is all kinds of crazy, but we are...

It’s a peculiar thing watching your baby pass up your kindergartener.

I really began to notice when our youngest was 6 months old. I watched him sit and not topple over. I watched his curious eyes take in the world around him while his older brother laid on the mat.

I watched his 4 finger grip change to a pincer grasp in no time at all. I taught him to use a straw in one sitting.

One. Mind blowing.

To say that I am in awe of typical development is an understatement. I am blown away at how much a child learns in the first year of life. We have an 8 year old as well but I took it all for granted.

Every single milestone. I was under the impression that kids just ​did it.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that not all children are born typical….but mine certainly would be. They would learn and grow and thrive. Roll, sit, crawl, walk. That’s what they would do.

We learned with our second child, who has PMM2 CDG (congenital disorder of glycosylation) that not all kids ​just do it.

Not all children check milestones off of their list.

Not all children learn to suck a straw in one sitting. Not all children learn to clap. Not all children will sit, crawl, and walk. All of the milestones I took for granted with our first son are milestones our kindergartener still has yet to meet.

And to be honest, I’m not sure that many of them will be met. I don’t know if he will ever speak, and I’m not quite ready to let that dream go. I know deep down in my heart that he’ll never walk unassisted, but that doesn’t stop us from trying.

Watching his baby brother pass him up has only made me realize just how many things he does not do.

But it has also made me realize how much his brother does do.

This limbo of grieving the things one son does and celebrating the same exact things for the younger one is so confusing. I am stuck in a place where I can’t wait for our baby to get to the “next” thing because it is simply amazing, and then in the same moment I tuck away a tear for his big brother.

Yes, it saddens me to watch our soon to be one year old doing countless things our 5 year old can’t do but this time around I promise I am not taking one single thing for granted.

Crawling up the stairs. Sent multiple videos to grandma.

Sticking his tongue out. Countless photos and videos.

Eating food. Instagram posts daily.

Saying “mama” and “dada.”

Treasured and held close to my heart.

I know now that none of these things are a guarantee. I know that not all children do these things on time, and like our middle son, some children may never. I am treasuring all of it.

The mess making, squirming during diaper changes, fake crying, and pulling up on my leg constantly when I am trying to get tasks accomplished. Even all of that. Even the hard and annoying parts.

All of it. I am enjoying it all.

And as much as I can’t wait for him to get to the next thing I am doing my very best to sit back, take a deep breath, and remember that not all kids​ just do it.

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