Early one evening last week, we were lying down with Timothy in his bed. Laura was reading to him, and I saw my window of opportunity and snuck out of his room. I got into the hall and sat down at the dining room table, shocked at the ease of my escape. Just then T burst into the hall, with his head on a swivel, searching like a shepherd looking for a lost baby lamb. But actually, no, the look on his face was more like a waiter hunting down a customer who’s just stiffed him on a bill.
And so back to the flock did I go.
Speaking of escapes, one of the best lines of a bad Godfather movie comes from Al Pacino when he said “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in…”
That phrase sums up us lying down with Timothy in the middle of the night.
He made the transition from crib to bed a few months ago, and fortunately he has been sleeping through the night more often, which is appreciated.
But on the occasional night that he wakes up in the middle of the night, he walks over to our bedroom, in which case one of us returns the baby bird to his nest and lies down with him. Generally the ‘lie down’ just takes a few minutes until he falls back asleep. But Timothy has a wonderful sense of timing. At the very moment that I believe that he’s asleep and I’m preparing to return to my own bed, Timothy often swings an arm over me to block my exit.
And bam, just like Michael Corleone, I was thinking I was out, but the not so sleepy redhead decided I wasn’t going anywhere.
Timothy continues to work on speaking. Recently, he’s been making many new sounds and working to communicate — with signs and with his talking board — but he still isn’t saying many words. A doctor asked us if we’re pleased with his progress, and I told him it’s hard to judge progress without more context.
I explained that Timothy’s speech challenges are like being in a tunnel.
We know that Timothy has made a mile’s worth of progress in the past year, which is encouraging, but we don’t know how long the tunnel is. It could be a 2 mile long tunnel and he’s on the verge of speaking, but it could be a 20 mile long tunnel and we’re still in for a long ride.
It’s also hard to know what progress looks like. My view has been that ‘progress’ is simple — speaking words (partly because it seemed to come so easily to our older girls) but we’ve realized that for Timothy there can be many signs of progress before he’s saying words.
Which is why we try to keep the ‘courage and patience’ motto in front of us.
The ‘Patience’ to stay calm, to realize that there’s much we can’t control.
And the ‘Courage’ to keep the faith, to keep working hard on the many many things that we and our wee shepherd can control.
After four years of baths, one day Timothy was in the tub and reached for the soap dish, with a look on his face like ‘Hey, when did you put this thing in?’
When I helped him exit the bath, I noticed that a bar of soap was still floating in the bath water. Then I realized that our formerly rinsed young boy was covered in soap film.
And so back into the bath did TRBL go.
We were saddened by the sudden passing of the musician Prince. He seems like a good guy and was a musical genius. After Prince’s death, people talked about the legendary dance parties at his home, Paisley Park (which was news to me because probably as a result of a computer error, I never got an invite).
Well, we certainly would not compare T to Prince, but Timothy also hosts legendary, impromptu family dance parties (and I AM invited to those, sometimes).
Capturing T dancing is like trying to photograph a rare bird. Once dancing Timothy notices someone taking pictures, he stops and takes a run at the Paparazzi.
While I don’t know what the Paisley Park dance parties were like, they couldn’t have been much better than the swinging times we have at TRBL Town.
Because just when you think you’re out, our little Godfather will pull you back in.