Big Band Music, Balloons & Confetti


This morning, before school, I told Wil he had to get dressed before he could eat his breakfast.

He was less than thrilled about this order of events.

Wil can be very stubborn when he wants to be, and this morning he wanted to be.

But, I know his kryptonite. Get him to laugh, and he is Mr. Compliance.

So, as I took his hand and walked him to his bedroom to get dressed, I started joking with him.

I tickled him and said, “You better hurry up and get dressed, or I’ll eat all your breakfast!”

He laughed, and said, “No, my breakfast!”

I teased back, “No, my breakfast!”

We went back and forth like this as I helped him get dressed, “Hurry up or Katherine will eat your breakfast!”

He laughed, and replied, “Not Katherine’s breakfast, my breakfast!”

As I slipped on his shoes, I teased that his other sister, Elizabeth, would eat his breakfast.

To this, he giggled and said, “No, it’s not Elizabeth’s breakfast, either!”

EITHER?? Did Wil just say EITHER??

Suddenly, Big Band music filled the room and loads of balloons and confetti fell from the ceiling!

Oh, wait, that was just in my head.

How is it possible that we are just standing here in Wil’s familiar bedroom, surrounded by all his familiar stuff, putting on his familiar clothes, on a typical Tuesday morning before school, and “either” has just become part of Wil’s vocabulary? Where’s the music, the balloons, the confetti?

Don’t you get it, it’s not just a word, it’s a comprehension milestone!

But, that’s how they happen, those milestones. All the work and the waiting, the wondering how and when, then, on typical morning doing typical stuff, Poof! There it is. No fuss, no fanfare, it’s just, ok, the milestone committee decided it’s time to give you one, so here you go.

I’ve heard it said that raising kids with special needs teaches you to celebrate the small victories in life. The way that milestones operate, is that really any surprise?

Even if the victory lies in just one word, or one action, I just can’t help myself. I see the clouds begin to part as Big Band music fills my ears and loads of balloons and confetti fall from the sky.

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