This past weekend I went away and my awesome husband watched the kids. This wasn’t the first time I’ve taken a little trip away and usually everything is fine. This time when I came back, it was harder to get back into the “groove” with Emma. I came home so ready to communicate with her and eager to read what she would spell out for me. She still has a pretty hard time typing for Jared – like I said, it’s a zone that we get into together.
In times like this, when it’s more difficult for her, it’s hard for me not to feel nervous. I know that I’ve mentioned it before, but I struggle with the fear of not wanting it all to end. I try to stay conscious of that balance. I kept asking questions and grabbing her arm and it seemed very slow going.
Me: Did you miss me?
As I was bombarding her with questions, it seemed like I just couldn’t find the zone. Where had it gone? When would we find it again? I was feeling anxious. She wasn’t really able to type out much.
Me: “Are you having a hard time communicating?”
Thank God for a simple yes. I remember how many years I longed to get that small word from Emma because with it, you can discover so much of what you’d need to know.
As it is, whenever I’ve gone away, I always feel moved to make up for lost time somehow. I kept trying to get more typing out of her, but it was hard. I knew I should expect this from time to time. We all have our moments and I try so hard to remember it, but my fear feeling mixes with sadness for her. I clapped my hands and happily tried to motivate Emma to work on her typing practice. I felt my desperation and I know she did too. At the computer, she struggled and got upset. I knew we were done almost as soon as we started.
Me: “Do you want to stop doing this for now?”
Later, when we were all outside and all was calm, I came up to her with the paper keyboard.
Me: “Are you mad at me, Emma?”
Emma: I realize that you are ready for me to type independently
I was a little relieved because this was definitely a clear sentence. And what she said really touched me. I knew that she had felt every bit of my panic and desperation along with her own disappointment in herself. I knew that it was my opportunity to clear the air for both of us. I really looked at her.
Me: “Emma, if you want to, you can type this way on this paper keyboard forever, okay? I just want to be there. I just want you to be happy and be able to tell me what you want to tell me.”
And as soon as I said it, I had to hold back the tears because it just felt right to say it – to let her know what maybe I really hadn’t before – and hope that it really seeped into both of us. I know that we’ll hit some bumps in the road and maybe not everyone will always believe what Emma “says” with her fingertips. That idea terrifies me – it fills me with anxiety. Sometimes I get caught up in how things “are supposed to go” on this journey we’re on. I start to wonder: What will others think? Seriously, I should know better! I can’t lose sight that the best and only thing I can really do is just be there for her – holding her hand or arm for the rest of our lives if need be. I don’t think she’ll need the crutch of my grasp always. Maybe instead of wanting to rush things along, I should enjoy this very magical time between us when I am blessed with her beautiful words as they flow from her heart to mine.