This is the time of year that always brings a lot of emotions with it.
Friday was the 10th anniversary of my first date with David. I can't believe it's been a decade! It's funny how it can feel so recent but at the same time feel like he was always here.
Saturday was a big one- one year since Robbie has his g-tube removed. A full year of eating and drinking on his own. Tonight we came in the door from visiting my dad and he said "I'm hungry! I need a snack!" I think it's the first time he's ever said the words "I'm hungry." (Though he does tell me his "tummy is rumbly" on occasion.) Of course, his stoma (tube-site) is still leaking, so I'm expecting surgery in the coming weeks to have to sew it up. Can't say I'm loving that, but I really would like to truly leave these days behind.
On Thursday, Robbie will be 4. Honestly, I feel like I'm typing that
wrong. FOUR years? I know it's cliche, but where does the time go? It
seems like just yesterday we were in the NICU fighting for his life.
Just today I was going through some videos and watched one of him in the
NICU. It's still fresh in my mind. I can still tell you where I was
sitting when I took the video, what I was feeling, what I was thinking.
And here we are, 4 years later.
Of course, with that one comes the memories of the days leading up to his birth. The day I was admitted to the hospital, for example. That's today, the 29th. It feels surreal to know that 4 years ago at this time, I was laying in bed at home with the worst stomach ache of my life, but didn't yet know that stomach ache was about to change the course of that life so dramatically.
This year (so far) has been easier than some. It helps that we've been incredibly busy, so I can't focus on it too much. And it helps that Charlotte is here now. She re-opened some of those wounds, but healed a lot of them as well. And Robbie is doing amazingly well. That helps, too.
I know his teacher seems to think he's a pain in the ass, and you know, he IS 3, sometimes he is, but he's also an incredibly bright, adorable, funny, giggly little monster.
At 4, he knows all of his ABC's and the sounds they make and even some of the words they start. He knows his numbers up to 20 and some other numbers sporadically. He knows all of his colors, and he knows shapes even I have to stop and think about sometimes. (Trapezoid? Heptagon? Seriously?) He is absolutely fascinated by clocks. He tells me about every one he sees. When we go shopping, he has to stop at the clock section and touch them, spin the dials, read the numbers, and describe them.
He is the same way about air conditioners lately. He can tell you the air conditioners blow cold air and heaters blow hot air. And he knows all about vents and air "preturns" and how the fans spin.
He'll tell you that his favorite breakfast is bacon, but his favorite food is chocolate. He loves trucks, especially if they are red. Pretty much anything that has wheels is pretty awesome, too, but if it's red, it's that much better. His grandma has a new car and he tells us all the time about "grandmas red new car!"
He adores his little sister. Today he walked in the room where she was and said "Baby Charlotte, you're so handsome!" And he hugs her and kisses her a hundred times a day. He gets told all day long to be gentle, but not because he's mean, but because his affections are sometimes a bit aggressive.
He loves to be tickled more than life itself and lately has taken to tickling me. When something makes him laugh, he says through is laughter "that's SO funny!" I guess to make sure I know.
My little boy who spent 2 years in physical therapy loves to jump to the point of exhaustion. He told me the other day he didn't want a birthday party (sorry kid, the invitations have gone out!) He just wants "a bouncing house and to find Olivia and Mason." (The children of one of my best friends in the world.) I'm not sure if Olivia and Mason are lost, but he definitely said we needed to find them.
At 4, he still isn't potty trained, but did pee in the real toilet for the first time tonight, so there is hope yet. His social skills aren't quite up to the same stage as his peers, but he likes kids. When he went back to daycare after Charlotte's quarantine, he said "YAY YAY! We're going to the kids' house!"
He's definitely not perfect, but I still think he's an amazing kid. I wish that I could have had a snapshot of today 4 years ago. If I could have just seen his smiling face, I would have known everything was going to be okay. Because it is. The emotions are strong, but as many scary, troubling memories as I have, I have 4 times as many happy, satisfying ones.
Robbie got his G-tube because of a diagnosis of failure-to-thrive, caused (at least in-part) by his prematurity. I wasn't sure we'd ever survive either of those. But we have. We are all thriving.