"What a Wonderful World"

April 25, 2007
What a wonderfully beautiful day we had, Jais, Charlise and I! It was a gorgeous sunny day today. I made the most delicious banana muffins for breakfast, which Jais devoured happily! Charlise enjoyed them as well. Their delight with the muffins was evident in the way the crumbs were strewn about the house. I also got to talk to Chris today which is always a blessing. Despite our worries and the miles between us, we still manage to make eachother laugh within the every other day14 minute phone call cram session that is our current marital relationship. What a wonderful man he is, always putting his family first, as much as he can from over in Kuwait! While we were on the phone he got to hear Charlise say “dada” . . . her favorite word.
Jais was especially happy and calm today. Even though we had to wait for 40 minutes at Womack (the hospital) for them only to tell us that the receptionist mistakenly scheduled us an appointment for an Army enrollment, when we are Air Force, and we waited for no reason, Jais remained entertained and pleasent. Maybe it was the new weighted vest he was wearing, an Osh Kosh fishing vest that I strategically placed pockets and bean bags in. Maybe he’s just improving. He was SO happy today, they both were! At lunch, he fed me. It’s a new game we’ve been playing. I sign “more bites” and say “mmmm… more bites please, mommy’s hungry”, and he feeds me. It’s the sweetest thing. While we do this, he’s making eye contact and he very sweetly offers me pieces of his food. Today he even fed me with a spoon! This is awesome, he has never even fed himself with a spoon. For people who have been around autistic children, they can appreciate what a wonderful miracle a simple game like this is for an autistic child. On so many levels, this game represents great progress and success! He was interacting with me, willingly, without a prompt or reward, he was caring for me, and enjoying it! He was also “play feeding” me- an aspect of imaginary play! At times there was nothing on the spoon, we were just pretending, and he enjoyed it! What a fun game! Lately, he has also been bringing me different things, empty boxes or containers, and I will say, “Thank You Jais” and then we find a way to play with it. Today, we used a box, to put crackers in and he fished them out. It’s so great to have him seeking me out, interacting with me, thinking in different ways, making eye contact! Charlise, too, improves every day! She is pulling to a stand all of the time now, and calls Jais “aga” I’m not too sure why yet. She is drinking from a sippy cup successfully too! How much these babies grow every day, it’s bittersweet!
After naptime, we played outside. Jais enjoyed his swinging like he always does, signing “more” when he wanted more. Charlise and I laid on a blanket under the sky and she giggled while I lifted her up. I took Jais over to a little “ride on” and put him on, he didn’t even cry! This is a boy who cries with any new experience or sensation, a boy who cries if I put him in a cart that looks a little different from the normal kind! I pushed him all around the back yard, up the hill and back down! What a leap this was for him! He even tried to get on it himself! I tried to get him on another one that was a little bit taller, but he cried from fear, and went back to the other one, I was still very pleased. I pushed Charlise on the other one, and she loved it! I sure was getting my exercise! Then I noticed Jais trying to reach his sippy cup on top of the slide, so I lifted him up and helped him climb up the side steps. He did it willingly; again, this was a huge leap for a child who normally fears anything veering form his normal routine or comfort zone! From there I gave him a piggy back ride and sang “I got a new way to walk”. He loved it. Then I did the same with Charlise on my shoulders. I thought for a brief moment, if anybody is watching me I must appear crazy, but I didn’t care, it was one of the happiest moments of my life, to be playing with my two happy, growing, thriving children! God was definitely smiling down at us today!
Every little moment with Jais seems to show improvement; the way he interacts with me, the way he responds, the way he notices things. I am beyond excited at this! Deep in my heart I know that we are beating this autism. And no matter where we come out at the other end, what a sweet angel he is! When I hear his little voice, like I did yesterday before going “bye bye” he said, “buh-bye”, my heart melts the same way it did when he was born, and when Charlise was born. How could one heart ever hold so much love? Thank you Chris, thank you Jais, thank you Charlise for giving me more joy and love then I ever thought possible, you three are my world!

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