Butterflies, determination and new beginnings….

Butterflies have descended upon my stomach and seem to refuse to go away. It all started on Friday afternoon when the realization that I had to run a 5K race on Sunday for the CASANA Apraxia event fell on my head  like a large boulder. I hadn’t run a mile in over a year and I had no business even attempting to run a 1K let alone a 5K. Between work, school, kids, life in general, I couldn’t seem to gather enough energy to get my butt out and running. Simply put; I’m exhausted. I figured that I’d be ok and that somehow I’d make it through. Yeah I know… Not my most brilliant moment. Why, you ask, did I do this? One word. Eli. The way I see it; Eli has had to fight to accomplish almost every single developmental milestone in his life; from eating to speaking to coloring. Every challenge, every teary eyed therapy session was met with strength and determination that never ceases amaze. So if my little 4 year old conquer his fears day after day then Mommy can deal with her fear of running a 5K and just suck it up. And I did! Sort of….. I kept my expectations fairly low. All I wanted was not to look like an ass and make a fool out of myself in front of complete strangers. Eli’s little face was etched on to my brain keeping me going. There was a time, however, that I seriously considered walking back to the start and calling it a day. With the exception of a few other unprepared stragglers I was almost by myself when I saw hubby alone on the side of the trail cheering me on. When he saw me about to burst into tears with frustration he ran along side me and talked me through whispering words of encouragement as we ran. It’s at those moments that I am reminded how lucky I am and how I love him so.  After speedwalking about 90% of the run, I ran the last stretch (where everyone was watching) to the finish line  so as to avoid the whole not looking like an ass thing. (Yay!)

The walk portion of the event was after the run so Eli, hubby, the girls, friends and Eli’s teachers did that part (without me because I could barely move after the run!). Team Elias was a success and I am so touched by all the friends, teachers and therapists that came out and supported us and the cause to bring awareness to apraxia… Thank you guys…. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart!

Here I am Sunday night and after today the butterflies should have flown away, but they are still fluttering in my stomach. Eli’s first day of school is tomorrow and so begins an additional 9 months of anxiety. Due to Eli being nonverbal for the most part his communication book becomes my lifeline in being able to understand his routine and catching a glimpse of how he is progressing. As soon as I get home the first thing I do is tear open his backpack and look for the book.  I scour the few precious sentences from his teacherfor any indication on his happiness, progress and even stubbornness since he can’t tell me with his own words. So my heart will be in my throat from the moment I leave the house until I get home to read that report. That and Eli having a new aide to greet him when he gets to school has my stomach in knots. One day I hope that the butterflies will leave and only make themselves known to me when I see them gently gliding in the air. In the meantime, I know that as a mother that feeling will never completely go away..

Nervous Anticipation…

Tomorrow is Eli’s big day.He has his intake evaluation by the out of district school that both the school district and I agreed to. It’s a dream school for parents of kids with special needs. It has a great assistive technology program, low teacher/aide to student ratio, great music/drama department, but most importantly it is all day inclusive program. Extended school year helps too!

Now the reason I am a nervous wreck is that Eli is notoriously horrendous with any type of evaluations. He will cry and whine, refuse to do anything that is requested of him and cling to my neck for dear life. He has no real words to express himself so it’s difficult to know what he feels. My guess is fear.

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Why? I am not sure… I think it’s because he has been poked and prodded pretty much since he was 6 months old. He even sees an elevator and screams bloody murder because he has come to associate elevators with doctors. When the visit is over the little &^%$ then smiles and waves goodbye to the evaluators as we walk out the door. In the meantime I bit my nails down to nubs as I silently begged Eli to PLEASE behave. We leave exhausted, with a pounding headache, ready to chain smoke and wishing for a stiff drink.

I must say that I did warn the director of the chaos that she may encounter anyway.. God bless her, she just smiled and said she has seen it all; that Eli can’t be that bad. After all, he looks sooooo cute! Ha! You just wait lady!

Despite my reservations, I still hope that little man will pleasantly surprise me as he has done before. That he will show them that he has his short comings but he has just as much potential as everyone else there does.

So PLEASE wish me luck! We’ll need it!