Friday, August 8, 2008

Fearful, Feisty, and Flexible

One thing about Downs Kids is that changes occur in slow motion. In some cases, that's a good thing. If Walker is stuck for a long time being an agreeable pre-adolescent, it's not nearly so difficult to deal with as the years he remained a strong willed toddler. I dread the day when he makes a leap ahead to being a "know it all" young adult, but some days I see us getting there.

Walker has finally developed past most of his fears, or at least found a way to deal with them. He kept a number of crosses and St. Christopher tokens for a while, and he's still prone to crossing himself when he hears thunder, but he no longer immobilized by his terrors. Thank goodness!

I'm not sure feisty is always a good thing, but Wednesday night Walker fussed at me in a very appropriate manner, and I was actually excited about it. I had left the hose out, because I was watering several times a day, and it was in his way when he was trying to get the garbage can out of the garage. I happened to step outside just as he was heading out.

"I rolled the hose up for you."

"Um humm. Thanks."

"Mom...That was very inconsiderate of you to leave the hose out out. I almost tripped over it. It caused me a lot of trouble. Don't ever do that again, please."

"Oh!" (followed by a sincere apology)

A few years ago, that inconvenience would have sent Walker into a tirade. He would have stormed in and told me he was never taking out the garbage again, and I would have had to figure out what in the world set him off. That may still happen again from time to time, but he's getting better at holding in his temper and dealing with day to day aggravations appropriately.

He's still no poster child for flexibility, for sure. But he's getting there, and that's significant. His speech teacher commented today that when she changed his usual exercises around today he accepted the changes much more graciously than usual, so I know it's not just my imagination that he's still growing emotionally at nearly thirty-three. Heck, I'm still growing emotionally, or at least sometimes I think I am, at almost sixty-four.

I'm thankful for the good place we are in right now. I hope that I'll remember that the bad times never last forever next time we're stuck in one.


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