One of my biggest fears recently was that after stopping the intensive program, David's progress may slow down. Quite the contrary. This summer has been full of wonderful experiences for our whole family. Above all, it has afforded us more time together, and the boys have been able to do normal kid stuff.
Quality time. I love my guys!
To me, it feels like a vacation not having to check off literally two hundred items a day. I can enjoy my time with my boys now, and they benefit greatly from it. That is an understatement. The value of just having a good time is so necessary for everyone and essential for David's recovery. So, we have been playing outside as much as we can in 100 degree weather, which means mostly swimming. Donnie wears his arm floaties and swims around, practicing the skills he has begun to learn in swimming lessons. David gets into the pool with me, and a new world of possibilities is open to him. Gravity is not a challenge here, and as we both get used to being in the water together, David's abilities in the water grow.
Getting some vitamin D!
The skills acquired in the water are translating into more sophisticated motor function for both Donnie and David, and (I like to imagine) improved cognitive function. All the summer exploration is liberating. We have been going on outings as a family, taking walks, planting plants, painting, coloring, reading, playing games, watching movies, cooking, enjoying meals together...in other words, LIVING. My sister Kayla has spent much of her summer vacation with us and we have enjoyed her company too.
Donnie exploring the nature (hog) trail near our house
Hungry Hungry Hippos is fun for everyone!
Another amazing thing that is happening is more interaction between the boys. During the program, relationships between everyone seemed distilled, dictated by what was next to check off the list. I have been watching all of us grow as individuals and as a family, and noticing how the boys' characters have developed in the recent months. It is beautiful.
Aunt Bea and Bids reading some Dr. Seuss
Donnie and David have always had a "twin connection." Now, however, it is uber-apparent. I will ask David a question with facilitated communication and before I have even finished asking, Donnie has answered. I finish asking David and he confirms that his brother was right. The most wonderful thing that happens between them is when Donnie thinks no one is watching. He sits next to David and has long conversations with him, pretends to suction him, and pats him and gives him kisses. David of course, is excited and he talks back. He has become much more vocal. I could write so much more, but I will save it for upcoming entries.