Tomorrow has the potential to be a big day for our family. That thought hasn't been lost on me today, and it feels like there is a giant timer over my head, ticking away the seconds until our appointment with the developmental pediatrician. It is our last appointment in a series of three; the two prior appointments were with a psychologist, a neurologist, and who I am assuming were therapists though they never actually introduced themselves by their distinct titles. The wheels have been spinning for a while, and they might finally rest for a moment tomorrow.
I took the first inning of our bedtime routine tonight, rocking my son for an hour. He fell asleep quickly, but twitches rattling through his little limbs told me his sleep was very shallow and the likelihood of transferring him to his crib successfully was low. I tried several times, and each time he woke with a start and a cry.
It's my husband's turn now, and from here in the living room, I can hear the rocking chair above me moving slowly back and forth. My husband hates to rock, says the motion makes him seasick. But his efforts allow me to relax alone in silence until I step in as the closer, fresh and prepared to battle those last few innings when the end of the game is in sight. Last night, the game went on until nearly 11:30 p.m.
It's easy to think that your child is perfectly normal when his version of normal is all you know. I still think about some of the questions they asked me at the previous two appointments and how they apply to my son and to other children. I try to see our answers on paper, try to look at all four people we have met with and imagine them going over their findings together. What they are saying, what they are thinking, on what they may agree or disagree. Then they present their findings to the developmental pediatrician, and she may diagnose my son sight unseen. I was even told I didn't need to bring him to this last appointment where we finally meet her to discuss everything, but he'll be coming with us. Absolutely he will be coming with us.
I have my expectations, but on the flip side, I have no idea what to really expect. I know that any label stamped on him will only be secondary to his primary labels: August James, Lil' Gus, My Son, My Heart, My Breath. I only hope that whatever we hear tomorrow is just a formality, a little hurdle to jump on the road to getting my son whatever help he needs to maximize his potential.
The seconds tick away above my head, and I'm sitting in my living room alone in silence, waiting them out.