Due to our family history and his large head at birth (he looked a bit like Charlie Brown), Henry was followed by Early Access, the team of people who serve children, ages birth to 3 years old. They came to our home on a regular basis to monitor his development. Henry was delayed in some areas. It was old hat, and I was happy (as happy as I could be) to have the professionals in our home. I was familiar with the process, and these people were my friends. They understood. We had been through a lot together a few years earlier with Henry's brothers.
Henry spent time at the Early Developmental Intervention (EDI) program due to his gross motor delays. He crawled at 11 months, but he did it his own way. He straightened his right leg, and he scooted on his bottom while he moved his arms. He looked like a bear cub when he moved. He first held a bottle around 12 months. He finally walked at 18 months. Isaac and Noah already went to EDI at the hospital weekly for occupational, physical, and speech therapy. What was another appointment? If I had placed a brick on the gas pedal and fallen asleep behind the wheel, I'm convinced the van could have driven itself there. It was our second home.
Once his gross motor skills had improved, he began therapy for his fine motor delays. At age 3, he worked with Barb, the occupational therapist, on writing, cutting, dressing, and toileting. Henry saw her every other week. Barb has a fabulous sense of humor and is a caring, compassionate listener. Seeing Barb was more of a therapy session for me than it was for Henry. I sometimes laughed when I said, "Henry, WE need to go to therapy again!"
When he was almost 4 years old, Henry was discharged from occupational therapy. I remember asking, "What's going on? He can do most of these tasks!"
Barb looked at me and said, "It's normal development. Now he's caught up." She smiled.
I laughed and said, "Normal development? Are you kidding me? That's the problem. I've never seen that before! I didn't recognize it!"
Henry is our artist. It was surprising how quickly he was able to create masterpieces once his fingers were strong enough to hold a crayon. He often drew animals, houses, rockets, and dinosaurs. He still loves to draw, and I have saved much of his artwork. Maybe I have saved too much?
His teachers often comment about his neat penmanship and artistic ability. I'm so proud of him.
When he brings papers home from school, I'm always delighted when I find a little suprise on the back side. I decided to keep his spiral-bound math notebook from first grade. I didn't give a hoot about the math, but I fell in love with his detailed drawings. None of them seemed related to math, but it didn't matter to me.
His art is a beautiful reminder of progress.