Twice this week Max's therapists have told me that he's doing great.
I have no idea what to do with this information.
Oh, I love me some compliments from friends and strangers alike. Smile at my baby's flyaway hair, tell me that he looks so strong holding his head up, tell me that his wide eyes look curious. But I have no idea how to react when a professional tells me that my baby is, for the moment, doing some of what a 5 month old baby should be doing.
With babies, what they're doing today means nothing about what they'll do tomorrow. And it sure doesn't mean a thing about who they will be in a year, or five years, or twenty.
We have been so lucky with Max's health. Healthy heart, healthy digestion. We made it through his first cold and flu season without any difficulties. But he is at increased risk for so many health problems. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Today the speech therapist said the muscle tone in his mouth looks very good. She listed off things that he's doing that are right on track. Does this mean that he'll talk easily and clearly, that he'll be able to make himself understood? No. Does this mean that I can erase the therapy appointments from my calendar? No. I suppose I should be pleased--but somehow hearing compliments that my baby is doing normal baby stuff just reminds me of everything that could go wrong.
Would I still be proud of Max if the therapists were telling me that there were problems? I don't have the option of answering no. Sooner or later the day is going to come when one of these professionals tells me they have "concerns" about some area of his development.
I want to dream big for Max. But I am scared of having those dreams squashed. Heck, I did dream big for Max, back before he was born. And then we heard the diagnosis that changed our measuring stick. I don't even know what dreaming big looks like anymore.
Don't get me wrong, I am proud of the little guy. More than that, I'm just plain enchanted by watching him change each day. It's amazing all of the little milestones the therapists are trained to notice, and it's such a joy to be included in observing every little detail as Max grows. The good news is that Max is Max. We're all still figuring out what that means.