The twins have been in school for little over a month. I know they like it. Not because they say so, but because they don't cry when we pull up to the parking lot, and they allow me to put their tiny backpacks on them, and they walk with me (pushing Levi in the stroller) to the front office, through the school, and to their classroom door. They are always compliant when walking into school, and if you know them, you know that says it all.
First day could have been hard for me. I totally forgot I was supposed to be taking pictures and documenting their first day, because frankly I was just so unnerved by the whole thing, it felt so surreal, I wasn't thinking about a camera. When we got to the door, they walked right in. Their teacher greeted them warmly, excitedly, and helped them hang up their backpacks. I wasn't sure if I should stay for a few minutes to make sure they were ok, or dip out quickly to make it easier on them...but the teacher decided for me when she looked at me, smiled, waved, and said "Bye mommy! They'll be fine!" So that was my cue.
I drove to the bible study thinking, "ok God, thanks for this bible study. I know why you have me going. I'm going to use this time to share my struggles, and get filled. They're going to encourage me as I tell them the hardships of being a mother to twins with Autism Spectrum Disorder. They're going to give me a pat on the back and a nod of admiration for having so much on my plate as a mother. They're probably going to cry a little and hug me and tell me it's going to be ok." And I was ready for exactly that.
But that's not what happened. These 5-6 women slowly filed into the room and while I bounced my Levi on my hip, they came in, every other woman, with her own baby on her hip. Clearly I wasn't going to get their sympathy by playing the new baby card. But once they found out I had twins, that would shock them into prayer for me. And when I tell them I have five kids, they'll REALLY be in awe of my hardships.
But then during our intros, I found that half of the ladies were mothers to twins. (wha?!) That they didn't have five kids...they had MORE. Some almost double. And some have prayerfully adopted and foster children... many with difficult medical situations and emotional pasts. So I just zipped my lip, and listened.
These women shared struggles. REAL struggles, that dont have quick easy solutions, or a clear light at the end of the tunnel. I found myself thinking very little about my situation, and thinking very much about the difficulties of those around me.
And when we went around the room giving our prayer requests, the leader and my now dear friend, TOTALLY skipped me! She didn't even ask me! It wasn't intentional, I could tell even right then that she just was jumping around the room and skipped me. The message from God couldn't have been more clear. He knows everything going on. He's got it covered. I dont need to look for other people for my peace or comfort. I'm certain that was my msg from God that day. And I think He added: "Guess what else Danielle? EVERYONE is going through something, and EVERYONE needs ME to get them through it. And I can. And I will. And I am. Period." My perspective on my own little difficult path, my trials, my "sufferings"...they were so very minimal when my eyes were opened to those around me. I needed that message to bring me back to a place of acceptance and determination to keep my eyes focused less on myself and more on others.
ANYWAY. that was my personal lesson from the first day of school. As for them, I picked up the boys at 11:45am and they were smiling and happy, their teacher said they were wonderful, they were very smart, and she has a firm belief that they will master the skills needed to perform in a classroom setting by the time they would start Kindergarten, if not before.
They were going to school M-F from 9am-11:45am, and we have decided this week to allow them to try a full school day. If they are quickly showing improvement with 3 hours of intervention in this creative and colorful classroom, how much faster will they show improvement if they have the opportunity to stay longer?
I dont know. Maybe it's too much too soon. We will soon find out.
And Levi is Levi. He is happy and redheaded and round. He can now sit up unassisted but still isn't rolling over from back to front. He started eating rice cereal last week, which the doctor says has less calories than breast milk so he will not necessarily get any "rounder". He is only 25 percentile for height, but 98percentile for weight. And as you may have expected, his head is still off the charts. But it's nice and ROUND, and that is wonderful! :) Another followup with the neurosurgeon Dec 8 in Orlando to make sure he's still looking good.